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The Neophyte, Gustave Dore, 1883.jpg


Middle English, from Late Latin neophytus, from Greek neophytos, from neophytos newly planted, newly converted, from ne- + phyein to bring forth



A neophyte is a beginner. In the context of Christianity, the term often refers to a:

  • New convert to the religion, in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches an adult convert is considered a neophyte for one year after conversion. Roman Catholic neophytes are considered full members of the Church, but may not act as sponsors for others planning to join,
  • Newly ordained priest,
  • Person who recently took a monastic vow.

In fraternities, it is a person that is a new convert or member of a secret fraternal organization, a beginner or novice member of the organization, or a recent convert (rookie/freshman) to the fraternal organization.

See also