Word of the Week: Neophyte

Neophyte is a noun and means any new participant in some activity. The word neophyte has a long history, it comes from the Middle English word neophite, which is derived from the Latin word neophytus. The Latin word neophytus is borrowed from the Greek word neóphytos (newly planted), which can be broken down into neo- (new) and -phytos (bring forth, produce). 

Neophyte also has a long history of use in the English language. First used in the 1300’s, the word was commonly used in the 16th-century translation of the Bible to describe a new convert. Still used by Roman Catholic missionaries, neophyte differs from the word catechumen, since neophyte refers to a new Christian convert that has been baptized.


The missionary Paul congratulated the neophytes on their recent baptism. As neophytes, they would be assigned a mentor within the church. 

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