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as in: played at a neutral site Define
not favoring any side in a contest, war, disagreement, or other dispute
  • Switzerland remained neutral during the Second World War.
  • The game will not be played at either school. Instead it will be played at a neutral site.

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  • Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
    Elie Wiesel (Nobel Acceptance Speech)
  • The intention was to make speech, and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neutral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • I guess even though she was neutral, she didn’t want to be seen with me.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • anyway, you have all these neutrals, i say, pointing to the list. if you get them on your side, things will even up a bit.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • The girls are staying neutral.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • No word in the B vocabulary was ideologically neutral.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • Except for Savanna’s group, the girls were neutral at first.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • At that point, any boys who had still been on his side now jumped ship and were clearly neutral.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder

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  • Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals that the Party was trying to achieve. Great areas of it, even for a Party member, were neutral and non-political, a matter of slogging through dreary jobs, fighting for a place on the Tube, darning a worn-out sock, cadging a saccharine tablet, saving a cigarette end.
    George Orwell  --  1984
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as in: a carbon-neutral building Define
not affected by; or does not affect
  • All the bathrooms in the dorm are gender neutral.
  • This store only sells gender neutral clothing.

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  • Admissions at that college are race neutral.
  • The committee is suggesting some cost neutral improvements.
  • They’re encouraging the use of Mx. as a gender-neutral replacement for Mr. and Ms.
  • In the crucial years, the fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did a great deal to neutralize opposition.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • In his capacity as an administrator, it is often necessary for a member of the Inner Party to know that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and he may often be aware that the entire war is spurious and is either not happening or is being waged for purposes quite other than the declared ones: but such knowledge is easily neutralized by the technique of doublethink.
    George Orwell  --  1984
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as in: decorated in neutral colors Define
bland (not striking in appearance or impression)
  • The painting would look best in a room of neutral colors, so it will stand out.
  • All the apartments I’ve looked at have such boring neutral colors.
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as in: Put the car in neutral. Define
gears are not engaged; or (metaphorically) nothing is happening
  • Put the car in neutral and we’ll push it.
  • When the car is in neutral, I hear a whistling noise.

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  • We need to get the economy out of neutral and start growing again.
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less common specialized meanings Define
specialized senses typically mean that something does not belong to either of two other opposite alternatives; such as:
  • chemistry: not acidic or alkaline
  • physics: not with a positive charge or with a negative charge
  • electric circuitry: with no voltage or electrical charge (though that is an informal simplification that would be dangerous if assumed in fact)

See a comprehensive dictionary for other specialized senses.

  • Protons have a positive charge. Electrons have a negative charge. Neutrons are neutral.
  • Pure water is neither acidic nor alkaline. It is neutral with a pH of 7.
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  • Finally Luke pulled up at a hydrant and shifted the pickup into neutral with a sigh.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Glass
  • Jordan’s voice was neutral.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls

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  • I urge you to seize this chance, for he will suffer no cravens or neutrals once battle is joined.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Maelstrom
  • We rolled the Beater into the school parking lot in neutral, hoping to slink past the attendance office unnoticed.
    Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl  --  Beautiful Creatures
  • I looked at Kevin, saw that he held his expression carefully neutral.
    Octavia Butler  --  Kindred
  • "Oh, yes," Mrs. Cranshaw said, with the most perfect note of neutrality that descended past condescension and straight to contempt.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • "Just love the people," Tyler said neutrally.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • He lets out his breath at last, but slowly, slowly Keep it neutral don’t beg.
    Judith Guest  --  Ordinary People
  • The one girl picked a nice neutral shade, so it wasn’t too bad.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Selection
  • I try to read Sana’s face as I join them, but her expression is carefully neutral.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes

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  • They’re effectively neutralized, and they know it.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood’s End
  • Neutralized will suffice.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • They were far too messy, too unpredictable, and too easy to neutralize.
    Ted Dekker  --  Black: The Birth of Evil
  • The New Allegiance, as they call themselves, will deliver an antivirus that would neutralize the threat of the Raison Strain.
    Ted Dekker  --  Red: The Heroic Rescue
  • Any man within visiting distance would have been neutralized as a lover-"brother,"
    Maxine Hong Kingston  --  The Woman Warrior
  • When the inside and outside pressures are in perfect balance, they neutralize each other and allow you to tolerate them without discomfort.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • It would take individual Marine riflemen on the ground to charge and neutralize these defenses.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • She needed something to neutralize the lingering effect of his touch and smell.
    Gloria Naylor  --  The Women of Brewster Place
  • We have to neutralize those leviathans.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Last Olympian
  • When he found one, he would neutralize the threat and then, proudly, leave the dead snake, I suppose, for us to see that he was keeping us safe.
    Tim Tebow  --  Through My Eyes
  • But this bias may go a long way to neutralize the others.
    James M. McPherson  --  What They Fought For - 1861-1865
  • We’ll pretend to fight until we can neutralize those Nikettes—ugh, that’s an awful name.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • His mouth held a neutral line, but I detected a speculative smile trapped behind it.
    Becca Fitzpatrick  --  Hush, Hush
  • The man’s face softened and he took a deep breath, as if he sensed the growing danger in the room and wanted to neutralize it.
    James Dashner  --  The Death Cure
  • "Morning, Mom," he said, moving to the sink, keeping his voice neutral.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • For the first time, he thought it might be necessary to neutralize Grace.
    Rick Yancey  --  The Infinite Sea
  • Mae corrected her face, tried to look neutral.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • "Maybe it won’t be too busy," she’d said neutrally.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Choice
  • "Are you the letumosis victim?" one asked in a neutral voice, holding up an ID scanner.
    Marissa Meyer  --  Cinder
  • A moderately handsome black-haired young man stared at her, though, and she willed her face into neutrality while his gray eyes took her in.
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • She kept her face neutral as he toyed with a ring on his finger.
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • Abby did her best to find out, using her most neutral, non-offended tone.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • She fights to keep her expression neutral.
    Christina Baker Kline  --  Orphan Train
  • Innocent is a neutral word.
    Ji-Li Jiang  --  Red Scarf Girl
  • "Chance," said Mrs. Barbour, in a neutral voice.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Mr. Beebe, who wore the heated aspect of a neutral, was bidden to collect the factions for the return home.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • His voice, like his eyes, was carefully neutral.
    J.D. Robb  --  Glory in Death
  • Her father alone preserved an attitude of neutrality.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • "A neutral pool," said Jason, wondering where the phrases came from.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity
  • BIG DEAL But the gym’s neutral territory.
    Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim  --  Westside Story
  • Forget ice; it’s grain that makes Authority important and not just neutral agency it was set up to be.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • Eragon’s eyes widened before he caught himself and concealed his shock behind a more neutral expression.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • Maybe that was because my dad had created horses out of sea foam, so the pegasi were sort of neutral territory.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Sea of Monsters
  • Old-lady shoes, really, the kind with thick, springy soles in neutral colors and supertough laces that won’t break under tension.
    Sarah Dessen  --  That Summer
  • Not impatient or annoyed, just strangely neutral behind the glasses.
    Scott Westerfeld  --  The Secret Hour
  • Think, for example, of how you guys has now become a generic form of address: it is gender-, age-, and class-neutral, and decidedly informal.
    Robert MacNeil and William Crane  --  Do You Speak American?
  • "Hi, Richard," she said neutrally.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Guardian
  • Ah, that he could pass again into his neutrality!
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Selected Essays
  • Bigger asked in a flat, neutral tone.
    Richard Wright  --  Native Son
  • But, when the neutrality of the Judge was clearly ascertained, Mr. Jones discovered that he had to contend with a stiff necked people.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
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