the chemical element of atomic number 10, an inert gaseous element of the noble gas group. It is obtained by the distillation of liquid air and is used in fluorescent lamps and advertising signs. (Symbol: Ne)
- • fluorescent lighting or signs (whether containing neon or some other gas) : the lobby of the hotel was bright with neon.
- • a small lamp containing neon.
- • short for neon tetra .
- • a very bright or fluorescent color : a denim cap outlined in neon | [as adj. ] we bought ourselves neon bandannas.
ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Greek, literally ‘something new,’ neuter of the adjective neos.