net·​work | \ˈnet-ˌwərk \

Definition of network 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings … ribbons, lace and embroidery wrought together in a most curious piece of network— Joseph Addison

2 : a system of lines or channels resembling a network a telephone network a network of blood vessels

3a : an interconnected or interrelated chain, group, or system a network of hotels

b : a system of computers and peripherals that are able to communicate with each other

4a : a group of radio or television stations linked by wire or radio relay

b : a radio or television company that produces programs for broadcast over such a network sold the show to a big network

5 : a usually informally interconnected group or association of persons (such as friends or professional colleagues) a support network available to single mothers a network of bird watchers


networked; networking; networks

Definition of network (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover with or as if with a network a continent … so networked with navigable rivers and canalsLamp

2 chiefly British : to distribute for broadcast on a television network also : broadcast sense 3

3 : to join (things, such as computers) in a network

intransitive verb

: to engage in networking

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Other Words from network


networker \ˈnet-​ˌwər-​kər \ noun

Synonyms for network

Synonyms: Noun

mesh, net, netting

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Examples of network in a Sentence


He hooked up his computer to the network. The show is getting good ratings for the network.


The computers are networked to one main server. She spent the day networking with other executives.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But each network will show a different version of the show. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "A 'While You Were Out' Reboot Is Coming to TLC and HGTV," 29 Oct. 2018 On some level, your achievements are contingent on having a stable and encouraging extended network. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 Vast trade networks linked the foragers with regions perhaps as far away as Greece, as indicated by exotic items found at Iron Gates: seashell beads from the Black Sea and tools made of volcanic obsidian mined from an island in the Aegean Sea. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Gu says that the technology could be available to upgrade Australia's networks, although the government is still going through internal political decisions about fiber. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Fiber Optic Cable Could Make the Internet 100 Times Faster," 24 Oct. 2018 The big factor: Hispanics, who account for 57 percent of the voters and who came to know Salazar relatively well over her three decades broadcasting on Spanish language networks Telemundo, Univision, Mega-TV and CNN Español. Fox News, "Video from 2011 creates headaches for Sinema," 12 Oct. 2018 It was announced that Jake Paul had been cast as Dirk Mann in Disney Channel's series, Bizaardvark, making him the first Vine star in history to bag his own network television show. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Jake Paul's Biggest Controversies," 26 Sep. 2018 Though models differ, all reject the involvement of the criminal-justice system, choosing instead to rely on community support networks and mediators. Kim Tran, Teen Vogue, "Transformative Justice, Explained," 15 Nov. 2018 The other cable news networks have familiar faces out front: Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper on CNN. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Fox’s MacCallum takes on new election-night role," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ronda networked with a local company to get homemade soaps at cost price. Serena Solomon, Woman's Day, "Breast Cancer Changed Ronda Carter's Life; Now, She's Doing the Same for Others," 24 Sep. 2018 Republican Business Network Meets 3rd Wednesday, 6:30-8 p.m. Small business networking club. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Coral Springs area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 With its acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T now owns CNN, Turner networks TBS, TNT and TruTV, HBO, Cinemax and the Warner Bros. TV and film studio (The Voice, Ready Player One). Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "AT&T continues buying spree with deal for digital ad tech firm AppNexus," 25 June 2018 In an experiment at an information-technology conference, attendees received an e-mail with networking recommendations from the conference organizer four days in advance. Kevin Lewis,, "Selling distrust," 11 May 2018 The contract also specifies equipment necessary to control Stingrays from an aircraft carrier including radio antennas, terminals, networking hardware and so on. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Boeing Will Build the Navy's MQ-25 Stingray Carrier-Based Tanker Drone," 4 Sep. 2018 The laser is mobile, networking generators, sensors and command-and-control systems packed on the back of trucks. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, "Russia accused of testing a 'killer satellite' in orbit," 16 Aug. 2018 Force yourself to go to community events, Eventbrite events and networking meetings. Jackie Pilossoph,, "Do you love yourself enough to reinvent yourself?," 12 July 2018 Huawei is built like a combination of Qualcomm (wireless networking equipment), Cisco (networking infrastructure), and Apple (consumer devices). Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "How Bad Is Facebook’s New China Problem?," 6 June 2018

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


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for network

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for network

The first known use of network was in 1530

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More Definitions for network



English Language Learners Definition of network

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a system of lines, wires, etc., that are connected to each other

: a system of computers and other devices (such as printers) that are connected to each other

: a group of people or organizations that are closely connected and that work with each other



English Language Learners Definition of network (Entry 2 of 2)

: to connect (computers) in a way that allows information and equipment to be shared

: to talk with people whose jobs are similar to yours especially for business opportunities or advice


net·​work | \ˈnet-ˌwərk \

Kids Definition of network

1 : an arrangement of things forming a pattern with spaces between a network of roads

2 : a system of computers connected by communications lines

3 : a group of connected radio or television stations


net·​work | \ˈnet-ˌwərk \

Medical Definition of network 

1 : a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings

2 : a system of lines or channels resembling a network a network of veins

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More from Merriam-Webster on network

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with network

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for network

Spanish Central: Translation of network

Nglish: Translation of network for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of network for Arabic Speakers

Comments on network

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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