• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Neophyte



  1. a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief. "four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts" synonyms: beginner · learner · novice · newcomer · new member

  • a new convert to a religion. synonyms: proselyte · new believer · catechumen

  • a novice in a religious order, or a newly ordained priest.


late Middle English: via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek neophutos, literally ‘newly planted’ but first used in the sense ‘new convert’ by St Paul (1 Tim. 3:6), from neos ‘new’ + phuton ‘plant’.

I LOVE that this word comes from the Greek word meaning "newly planted"! That sums up the word so beautifully and in such a descriptive way.

I first heard this word when my friend Scott used it while talking about his wife and computers, "She is a neophyte when it comes to the computer". It is very easy to incorporate into your vocabulary, and the chance to use it should be fairly regular.

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