ne·ol·o·gism (nē-ŏlə-jĭz′əm, nē′ō-lō-)
1. A new word, expression, or usage.
2. The creation or use of new words or senses.
a. The invention of new words regarded as a symptom of certain psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.
b. A word so invented.
4. Theology A new doctrine or a new interpretation of scripture.
ne·ol′o·gistic, ne·ol′o·gisti·cal adj.
Usage Note: The traditional pronunciation of neologism is accented on the second syllable (nē-ŏlə-jĭz′əm). In our 2015 survey, this is the pronunciation preferred by 72 percent of the Usage Panel. A newer variant pronunciation accented on the third syllable (nē′ō-lōjĭz′əm) is preferred by 28 percent of the Panel; however, only half of the Panel finds it acceptable.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.