neat

noun
\ˈnēt \
plural neat or neats

Definition of neat 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: the common domestic bovine (Bos taurus)

neat

adjective

Definition of neat (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : free from dirt and disorder : habitually clean and orderly kept her room neat

2a : free from admixture or dilution (see dilute entry 1 sense 3) : straight neat brandy neat cement

b : free from irregularity : smooth neat silk

3 : marked by tasteful simplicity a neat outfit

4a : precise, systematic mathematics … retains the neat exactness of the surgeon's knife— Bertrand Russell

b : marked by skill or ingenuity : adroit a neat trick

5 : net neat profit

6 informal : very pleasant, fun, or enjoyable : wonderful, excellent used as a generalized term of enthusiastic approval had a neat time!What a neat idea!We met some neat people at the party.

neat

adverb

Definition of neat (Entry 3 of 3)

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

2 : without admixture or dilution : straight

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Other Words from neat

Adjective

neatly adverb
neatness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for neat

Adjective

neat, tidy, and trim mean showing care and a concern for order. neat is used when something is clean in addition to being orderly. Your clothes should always be neat. tidy is used for something that is continually kept orderly and neat. I work hard to keep my room tidy. trim is used when something is orderly and compact. They live in trim, comfortable houses.

Examples of neat in a Sentence

Adjective

He keeps his apartment neat and clean. The store is always busy but they manage to keep the shelves stocked and neat. a nice neat pile of magazines Fold the paper to make a neat edge. a neat man who always wore a suit He's got a neat way of memorizing information. There is, unfortunately, no neat solution to the problem. She's a neat person who has traveled a lot.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In one of his cooperative’s fields, the soy grows in neat rows that are spaced farther apart to keep the plants at the right temperature and moisture. Raymond Zhong, BostonGlobe.com, "China’s taste for soybeans is a weak spot in trade war with Trump," 9 July 2018 Arranged in eight neat rows, 32 orange-tree planters bear quotes from L.A. locals about the perks of divvying things up. Zoie Matthew, Los Angeles Magazine, "How One Nonprofit Is Transforming L.A. Parks into Edible Hangouts," 20 June 2018 Wallace held up a plaque with medals pinned in neat rows beside his picture. Julia Terruso, Philly.com, "After Trump-Kim summit, Philly-area family asking 'What about my brother' could finally get an answer," 20 June 2018 Get the Right Tools To keep toes looking neat, use a toenail clipper and follow the nail’s natural shape. Max Berlinger, New York Times, "Men, Are You Wearing Sandals This Summer? Read This First," 13 June 2018 Drink it neat, with a splash of water or with a beautiful, clear ice cube. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "Four Bottles of Booze That Make for Easy, High-Reward Father's Day Presents," 12 June 2018 Corn and soybeans had taken over the landscape by then, tended in neat little rows near the highway, cloaking the countryside with green. Latria Graham, Outside Online, "We're Here. You Just Don't See Us.," 10 Apr. 2018 Sixteen musicians play on the album’s eight tracks, but Comerford’s vision enables them to produce a unified sound that harks back to 70s rock, gliding over neat strumming and propelled by a patient rhythm section. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Chicago rock vet Thomas Comerford’s new album Blood Moon was worth the four-year wait," 15 June 2018 There were some neat wrinkles like, as David pointed out, the reveal that Akecheta went 10 years in the park without dying (new puzzle: Why did the techs’ manager insist this old model be sent back into the park, rather than swapped out?). The Atlantic, "Westworld: Ghost Nation, Revealed," 10 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neat.' 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 neat

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adverb

circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neat

Noun

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

Adjective

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

Adverb

see neat entry 2

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Learn More about neat

Phrases Related to neat

neat and tidy

neat freak

Statistics for neat

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for neat

The first known use of neat was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for neat

neat

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of neat

: not messy : clean and orderly

: liking to keep things very clean and orderly

: simple and clever

neat

adjective
\ˈnēt \
neater; neatest

Kids Definition of neat

1 : showing care and a concern for order a neat room

2 : skillful in a fascinating or entertaining way a neat trick

Other Words from neat

neatly adverb
neatness noun

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Comments on neat

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