1

neat

noun \ ˈnēt \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

Definition of neat

plural neat or neats
: the common domestic bovine (Bos taurus)

Recent Examples of neat from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology 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

Other Animal Husbandry Terms


2

neat

adjective

Definition of neat

1 : free from dirt and disorder : habitually clean and orderly
  • kept her room neat
2 a : free from admixture or dilution (see 1dilute 3) : straight
  • neat brandy
  • neat cement
b : free from irregularity : smooth
  • neat silk
3 : marked by tasteful simplicity
  • a neat outfit
4 a : 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 : fine, admirable
  • What a neat idea!

neatly

adverb

neatness

noun

Examples of neat in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of neat from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of neat

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


3

neat

adverb

Definition of neat

1 : in a neat manner
  • his hair combed back neat
  • —J. M. Cain
2 : without admixture or dilution : straight

Origin and Etymology of neat

see 2neat



NEAT Defined for English Language Learners

neat

adjective

Definition of neat for English Language Learners

  • : not messy : clean and orderly

  • : liking to keep things very clean and orderly

  • : simple and clever


NEAT Defined for Kids

neat

adjective \ ˈnēt \

Definition of neat for Students

neater; neatest
1 : showing care and a concern for order
  • a neat room
2 : skillful in a fascinating or entertaining way
  • a neat trick

neatly

adverb

neatness

noun

History for neat

The English word neat can be traced back to a Latin adjective nitidus that meant “shining,” “bright,” or “clear.” The French word net that came from this Latin word had the same meanings and came into English as neat. English neat at first meant “bright” or “clean.” Later it was used to mean “simple and in good taste,” “skillful,” and “tidy.”

Synonym Discussion of neat

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.


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