drag·​net ˈdrag-ˌnet How to pronounce dragnet (audio)
: a net drawn along the bottom of a body of water
: a net used on the ground (as to capture small game)
: a network of measures for apprehension (as of criminals)

Examples of dragnet in a Sentence

Nine suspects were caught in the police dragnet.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, in an election year, migration continues to be a defining issue for both the Biden administration as well as former President Trump, who promises to deport 15 to 20 million people, strengthen the wall, and its surveillance dragnet. Petra Molnar, TIME, 21 May 2024 Instead, during the nearly 100-year period known as Jim Crow, descendants of slavery were violently subjected to a dragnet of racist laws that kept them from most opportunities and also prevented America from becoming a true democracy. Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times, 13 Mar. 2024 Some have complained they were falsely caught up in a dragnet. The Arizona Republic, 16 Jan. 2024 Ayala is not the first political figure to be swept up in the Jan. 6 dragnet. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for dragnet 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dragnet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of dragnet was circa 1541

Dictionary Entries Near dragnet

Cite this Entry

“Dragnet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dragnet. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


drag·​net ˈdrag-ˌnet How to pronounce dragnet (audio)
: a net dragged along the bottom of a body of water
: a series of planned actions for catching a criminal

More from Merriam-Webster on dragnet

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