net·​work | \ ˈnet-ˌwərk How to pronounce network (audio) \

Definition of network

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings … ribbons, lace and embroidery wrought together in a most curious piece of network— Joseph Addison
2 : a system of lines or channels resembling a network a telephone network a network of blood vessels
3a : an interconnected or interrelated chain, group, or system a network of hotels
b : a system of computers and peripherals that are able to communicate with each other
4a : a group of radio or television stations linked by wire or radio relay
b : a radio or television company that produces programs for broadcast over such a network sold the show to a big network
5 : a usually informally interconnected group or association of persons (such as friends or professional colleagues) a support network available to single mothers a network of bird watchers


networked; networking; networks

Definition of network (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover with or as if with a network a continent … so networked with navigable rivers and canalsLamp
2 chiefly British : to distribute for broadcast on a television network also : broadcast sense 3
3 : to join (things, such as computers) in a network

intransitive verb

: to engage in networking

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Other Words from network


networker \ ˈnet-​ˌwər-​kər How to pronounce networker (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for network

Synonyms: Noun

mesh, net, netting

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Examples of network in a Sentence


He hooked up his computer to the network. The show is getting good ratings for the network.


The computers are networked to one main server. She spent the day networking with other executives.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump has previously filled government spokesmen positions with Fox News personalities and may again turn to the network. Margaret Talev, Fortune, "Who Will Replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Not Anthony Scaramucci," 14 June 2019 About 200 people have signed up so far to join at least part of the trek, according to the network. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Educators plan March to Madison in effort to restore Evers' education budget," 14 June 2019 No Customs networks or databases were breached, the agency spokesman said. Frank Bajak,, "Customs says hack exposed traveler, license plate images," 11 June 2019 The threats range from fast-spreading cattle ranches, road networks, and poaching to vast plumes of runoff from farmers’ fields to ocean acidification and global warming driven by accumulating heat-trapping emissions of carbon dioxide. National Geographic, "E.O. Wilson at 90: The conservation legend shares dreams for the future," 10 June 2019 No Customs networks or databases were breached, the agency spokesman said. Frank Bajak,, "U.S. Customs and Border Protection says cyberattack exposed photos of travelers and license plates," 10 June 2019 The decision is the result of a gradual shift away from aggressive and conservative politics inside the deep-pocketed donor network and one more toward comity and compromise. Philip Elliott, Time, "Coming Soon to a Democratic Primary: Candidates Backed By Charles Koch," 7 June 2019 The game will take place on Dec. 3 with the television network and game time to be announced at a later date. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball will host Michigan in the 2019 Big Ten/ACC challenge," 6 June 2019 Patrick Dempsey left the show in Season 11, and the studio and network believed the show could not go on without the male lead. Lynette Rice,, "Ellen Pompeo says Grey's Anatomy used to be a 'disaster behind the scenes'," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the heart of the dispute was whether Arista infringed on Cisco’s intellectual property like programming commands used to configure Cisco networking hardware. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Arista to Pay Cisco $400 Million as Companies Settle IP Disputes," 6 Aug. 2018 More Andrew Adrian-Karlin, a 31-year-old technologist at a Chicago financial-services firm and member of Tepper’s M.B.A. class of 2019, attended an alumni-networking event on campus virtually last year, thanks to the TepperBot. Amber Burton, WSJ, "Does Your Online M.B.A. Program Feel Too Remote? There’s a Bot For That," 5 Dec. 2018 Many of the features in the Killer AX 1650 networking adapter aren’t necessarily new to people familiar with Killer Wi-Fi or networking chips. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Killer's AX 1650 network card taps Wi-Fi 6 for wireless gaming that doesn't suck," 15 Apr. 2019 Wirecutter even recommended it as the best Wi-Fi mesh-networking kit thanks to its easy-to-use yet high-end router features. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Upgrade Your Networking Gear With This Netgear Orbi Sale," 5 Apr. 2019 Entrepreneurs can network over drinks and plan their night using an event app. Allison Hagan,, "Business agenda," 10 July 2018 In recent quarters, Cisco has managed to offset sluggishness in its legacy networking gear with security services. Jay Greene, WSJ, "Cisco Growth Could Feel Pressure From Tariff, Challenges in Security Sector," 13 Feb. 2019 The event features a four-day program of conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Snap's Ben Schwerin & Geffen's Neil Jacobson to Deliver Joint Keynote at Midem 2018," 26 Apr. 2018 In Austin, Lime teamed up with Austin Music Foundation, a program to strengthen the local music industry through workshops, panels and networking events. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Scooter companies are trying to rehabilitate their reputations as cities crack down," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'network.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of network


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for network

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for network

The first known use of network was in 1530

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More Definitions for network



English Language Learners Definition of network

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a system of lines, wires, etc., that are connected to each other
: a system of computers and other devices (such as printers) that are connected to each other
: a group of people or organizations that are closely connected and that work with each other



English Language Learners Definition of network (Entry 2 of 2)

: to connect (computers) in a way that allows information and equipment to be shared
: to talk with people whose jobs are similar to yours especially for business opportunities or advice


net·​work | \ ˈnet-ˌwərk How to pronounce network (audio) \

Kids Definition of network

1 : an arrangement of things forming a pattern with spaces between a network of roads
2 : a system of computers connected by communications lines
3 : a group of connected radio or television stations


net·​work | \ ˈnet-ˌwərk How to pronounce network (audio) \

Medical Definition of network

1 : a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings
2 : a system of lines or channels resembling a network a network of veins

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More from Merriam-Webster on network

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with network

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for network

Spanish Central: Translation of network

Nglish: Translation of network for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of network for Arabic Speakers

Comments on network

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


to take the place or position of

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