\ ˈnēt How to pronounce neat (audio) \
plural neat or neats

Definition of neat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the common domestic bovine (Bos taurus)



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.



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


neatly adverb
neatness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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.

Examples of neat in a Sentence


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

Be sure to check out the neat pyramid shaped rock peeking out of the ferns to the north. Peter Marteka,, "A view with three trees and so much more on top of Bull Hill in Thompson," 7 June 2019 In a neat twist, too, the cat lady becomes the butt of jokes but also this – a heroine. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ is a worthy sequel," 6 June 2019 For a neat, smart movie about the intricacies of navigating late adolescence, Booksmart has had to bear an unusual set of burdens. Kristen Evans, The New Republic, "Booksmart Deserved Better," 5 June 2019 The workshop and kitchen space is set in a neat building that overlooks a narrow street in Mitoyo. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Udon, Japan’s Most Important Noodle, Is Worth Traveling For," 31 May 2019 Her hair, in her signature platinum-blonde hue, was styled into a neat bob, which was sprinkled with tiny little bows made out of hair on top. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "Lady Gaga Just Changed Four Times on the Met Gala Red Carpet," 6 May 2019 This was a woman who was so transgressive and so unusual and showed us that women didn’t always fit into the neat little places they were expected to inhabit. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Gentleman Jack Creator Sally Wainwright on the Secret Code in Anne Lister’s Diaries," 30 Apr. 2019 This neat closet hanger turned my one short rod into two. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This $15 Hanging Rod Doubled the Size of My Tiny Closet," 2 Apr. 2019 If not, the official first day of winter is neat for other reasons too. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The winter solstice is Friday: 8 things to know about the shortest day of the year," 18 Dec. 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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

Adjective and Adverb

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

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Statistics for neat

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Time Traveler for neat

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

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More Definitions for neat



English Language Learners Definition of neat

: not messy : clean and orderly
: liking to keep things very clean and orderly
: simple and clever


\ ˈnēt How to pronounce neat (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on neat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neat

Spanish Central: Translation of neat

Nglish: Translation of neat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on neat

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