\ 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

First and foremost, keep your space neat and organized. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence-proof your kitchen with these three tips," 13 Sep. 2018 The 20-year-old Englishman showed neat touches and took up good positions, but was substituted for the more physical and less technical Andreas Cornelius at halftime. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Mbappe scores 20th league goal as PSG routs Montpellier 5-1," 20 Feb. 2019 This upright, fast-grower makes a neat, narrow hedge or accent with its columnar shape. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "20 Best Boxwood Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden," 14 Feb. 2019 Needless to say, a good duvet cover should look neat on your bed, feel comfy against your body, and be easy to clean. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "6 Best Duvet Covers, According to Textile Experts," 21 Dec. 2018 But the division in real life isn’t always so neat, and few of the people trying to come to the US from the Northern Triangle right now fit just one of those boxes. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 Although Nordic Thunder did get a Dr. Pepper commercial out of his world championship win, so that’s pretty neat. Grace Dickinson,, "How to slay at the U.S. Air Guitar Regional Championships in Philadelphia," 27 June 2018 Today, the green lawns and ponds are surrounded by a thick wall of trees, creating a true respite from urban life inside a neat, perfectly ordered rectangular park. Melissa Kravitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things to Do in Dublin For Everyone," 19 June 2018 Sounds pretty neat, and we were given the opportunity to do just that at the Valvoline lab in Lexington, Ky. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How To Pick The Right Motor Oil For Your Car," 18 Jan. 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

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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