net

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
a
: an open-meshed fabric twisted, knotted, or woven together at regular intervals
b
: something made of net: such as
(1)
: a device for catching fish, birds, or insects
(2)
: a fabric barricade (see barricade entry 2 sense 1a) which divides a court in half (as in tennis or volleyball) and over which a ball or shuttlecock must be hit to be in play
(3)
: the fabric that encloses the sides and back of the goal (see goal sense 2a) in various games (such as soccer or hockey)
shot the puck into the net
2
: an entrapping device or situation
caught in the net of suspicious circumstances
cannot escape the net of circumstances in which he is caughtW. P. Webb
3
: something resembling a net in reticulation (as of lines, fibers, or figures)
the net of global communication
… the systemic net of restrictions …John Edgar Wideman
4
a
: a group of communications stations operating under unified control
Army radio net
5
or less commonly Net : internet
world news on the Net
netless adjective
netlike adjective
netty adjective

net

2 of 5

verb (1)

netted; netting

transitive verb

1
: to cover or enclose with or as if with a net
2
: to catch in or as if in a net
3
: to cover with or as if with a network
4
a
: to hit (a ball) into the net for the loss of a point in a racket game
b
: to hit (a ball or puck) into the goal for a score (as in hockey or soccer)
also : to score (a point or goal) by netting a ball or puck
netter noun

net

3 of 5

adjective

1
: free from all charges or deductions: such as
a
: remaining after the deduction of all charges, outlay, or loss
net earnings
net worth
compare gross
b
: excluding all tare
net weight
2
: excluding all nonessential considerations : basic, final
the net result
net effect

net

4 of 5

verb (2)

netted; netting

transitive verb

1
a
: to receive by way of profit : clear
b
: to produce by way of profit : yield
2
: to get possession of : gain

net

5 of 5

noun (2)

1
: a net amount, profit, weight, or price
2
: the score of a golfer in a handicap match after deducting his or her handicap from the gross score
3

Examples of net in a Sentence

Noun (1) the basketball didn't go into the basket—it just hit the net drug runners caught in an elaborate net set by the police caught in a net of palace intrigues Verb (1) the kite was stubbornly netted in the branches of the willow tree a police sting that netted drug dealers from all parts of the city Adjective The net result of the new bridge will be fewer traffic jams. Verb (2) the entrepreneur netted millions on that deal Noun (2) his net for the year was about 60% of his total income the net of the report on race relations is that things are better but not good enough
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The ball sailed into the back of the net to give Sporting KC the lead for good with 10 minutes to go. Daniel Sperry, Kansas City Star, 11 July 2024 Former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Everton star James Rodriguez swung in a corner kick that found the head of Lerma, who powered the ball into the back of the net to give Colombia a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute. Nicky Wolcott, Charlotte Observer, 11 July 2024
Verb
The film, co-written by Savage and Page, arrives in theaters August 16 after making rounds on the festival circuit, where Page’s turn as Sam netted early praise. Samantha Allen, Them, 10 July 2024 That means the distribution of a couple of educational pamphlets could net the same $14 fee as a much pricier pack of diapers. Cassandra Jaramillo, ProPublica, 9 July 2024
Adjective
Between 2019 and 2022, the median net worth of U.S. households rose 37% to $192,900, after inflation, the largest rise ever recorded by the federal Survey of Consumer Finances. Daniel De Visé, USA TODAY, 16 July 2024 In its complaint last year, the attorney general’s office claimed that Swahili Village failed to maintain employment records, such as itemized statements that indicate total hours worked, gross and net wages, deductions and a breakdown of wages and tips. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 16 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for net 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1) and Verb (1)

Middle English nett, from Old English; akin to Old High German nezzi net

Adjective

Middle English, clean, pure, from Anglo-French — more at neat entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

circa 1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of net was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near net

Cite this Entry

“Net.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/net. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

net

1 of 5 noun
1
: a fabric made of threads, cords, ropes, or wires that weave in and out with much open space
2
: something made of net: as
a
: a device for catching fish, birds, or insects
b
: a fabric barricade which divides a court in half (as in tennis or badminton)
c
: the fabric that encloses the sides and back of the goal (as in hockey or soccer)
3
: something that traps like a net
a net of thorns
4
: a network of lines, fibers, or figures
5
often capitalized : internet
netlike adjective
netted
ˈnet-əd
adjective

net

2 of 5 verb
netted; netting
1
: to cover with or as if with a net
2
: to catch in or as if in a net
net fish
3
: to hit the ball into the net in a racket game
netter noun

net

3 of 5 adjective
: free from all charges or deductions
net profit
net weight

net

4 of 5 verb
netted; netting
: to gain or produce as profit
netted five dollars on the sale

net

5 of 5 noun
: a net amount, profit, weight, or price
Etymology

Noun

Old English nett "net fabric"

Adjective

from earlier net "neat," from Middle English net "clean, bright," derived from Latin nitidus "bright, lustrous" — related to neat see Word History at neat

Medical Definition

net

noun
: network
in the portal system, blood passes through two capillary netsE. B. Steen & Ashley Montagu

Legal Definition

net

adjective
: remaining after deduction of all charges, outlay, or loss
the net proceeds
compare gross
Etymology

Adjective

Anglo-French, clean, pure, from Latin nitidus bright, neat, from nitēre to shine

More from Merriam-Webster on net

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