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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·gis′tic, ne·ol′o·gis′ti·cal adj.
Usage Note: The traditional pronunciation of neologism is accented on the second syllable (nē-ŏl′ə-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-lō′jĭz′əm) is preferred by 28 percent of the Panel; however, only half of the Panel finds it acceptable.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.