Word Origin & History
"new convert," c.1550, from L.L. neophytus, from Gk. neophytos, lit. "newly planted," from neos "new" + -phytos "planted," verbal adj. of phyein "cause to grow, beget, plant." Church sense is from I Tim. iii.6. Rare before 19c. General sense of "one who is new to any subject" is first recorded 1599.