Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

neat

play
noun \ˈnēt\

Definition of neat

plural neat or neats

  1. :  the common domestic bovine (Bos taurus)



Origin of neat

Middle English neet, from Old English nēat; akin to Old High German nōz head of cattle, Old English nēotan to make use of, Lithuanian nauda use


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms


2

neat

adjective

Simple Definition of neat

  • : not messy : clean and orderly

  • : liking to keep things very clean and orderly

  • : simple and clever

Full Definition of neat

  1. 1 :  free from dirt and disorder :  habitually clean and orderly

  2. 2 a :  free from admixture or dilution :  straight <neat brandy> <neat cement> b :  free from irregularity :  smooth <neat silk>

  3. 3 :  marked by tasteful simplicity <a neat outfit>

  4. 4 a :  precise, systematic b :  marked by skill or ingenuity :  adroit

  5. 5 :  net <neat profit>

  6. 6 :  fine, admirable

neat·ly adverb
neat·ness noun

Examples of neat

  1. He keeps his apartment neat and clean.

  2. The store is always busy but they manage to keep the shelves stocked and neat.

  3. a nice neat pile of magazines

  4. Fold the paper to make a neat edge.

  5. a neat man who always wore a suit

  6. He's got a neat way of memorizing information.

  7. There is, unfortunately, no neat solution to the problem.

  8. She's a neat person who has traveled a lot.



Origin of neat

Middle French net, from Latin nitidus bright, neat, from nitēre to shine; probably akin to Middle Irish níam luster


First Known Use: 15th century


3

neat

adverb

Definition of neat

  1. 1 :  in a neat manner <his hair combed back neat — J. M. Cain>

  2. 2 :  without admixture or dilution :  straight



Circa 1578

First Known Use of neat

circa 1578




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up neat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ