net·​work | \ ˈnet-ˌwərk How to pronounce network (audio) \

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 How to pronounce networker (audio) \ 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

The main offices of the network -- known as VISN 4 -- is in Pittsburgh. Naseem S. Miller,, "Longtime Orlando VA director named regional director in Pennsylvania," 9 Aug. 2019 Universal has faced a backlash on social media as well as networks pulling ads over The Hunt as public anger grows over gun violence. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Universal Pulls 'The Hunt' Ads Amid Gun Violence Uproar," 8 Aug. 2019 An opportunity to add yet another additional layer of complexity on top of the messy network of schemes, political intrigue, and angst that underpin Shakespeare's Denmark, and an opportunity to craft a way in for the player. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Elsinore Smartly Reimagines Hamlet with Ophelia as the Hero," 8 Aug. 2019 If everybody’s rifle is part of the network, that’s a transformational capability. Lee Roop |, al, "What industry insiders asked a top U.S. defense official," 8 Aug. 2019 Shields Health Solutions, based in Stoughton, has established onsite pharmacy programs at more than 35 health networks with some 250 hospitals across the country, including UMass Memorial Medical Center and New York Presbyterian., "The week in business," 5 Aug. 2019 The concept plan shows an interior road network serving the residences with two entrances to the community from Route 1 at Auction Way and at what had been the original entrance to the auction which hadn’t been used for many years. Erika Butler,, "Development plans continue for former Bel Air Auto Auction site, where decommissioned buses wait to be auctioned," 3 Aug. 2019 The company is behind two-thirds of the commercially launched 5G networks built globally, and secured 50 contracts in 30 countries as of June 30. Jane Li, Quartz, "2019 isn’t looking too bad for Huawei, yet," 30 July 2019 Though Catholic leaders deny the church has any official relationship with the group, Opus Bono successfully forged networks reaching all the way to the Vatican. Anchorage Daily News, "Priests accused of sex abuse turned to under-the-radar group," 29 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The convention was an educational, networking and social event. Beverly Southall,, "Perryville: Lower Ferry Festival coming Aug. 16," 9 Aug. 2019 Operators will have to assess the risks posed by vendors to network security and resilience and ensure those risks are managed appropriately under new framework. Greg Ritchie,, "United Kingdom defers Huawei 5G decision, seeks clarity on US export ban," 22 July 2019 For example, Facebook, along with YouTube and Twitter, was pointedly not welcome at the recent social-networking event. Noam Cohen, WIRED, "The Truth About Trump’s Love-Hate Relationship With Big Tech," 18 July 2019 Drone enthusiasts of Carroll County had the opportunity to network and learn from skilled users at the second annual Big Drone Event. Akira Kyles,, "Big Drone Event a learning opportunity for everyone from seniors to a 6-year-old, interested in drones as hobby or profession," 12 July 2019 And many of them were here to promote their channels, to network with other creators and to make strides toward the dream of internet fame. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Don’t Scoff at Influencers. They’re Taking Over the World.," 16 July 2019 The event also features three days of educational sessions, networking opportunities and exposure to the latest HR products and services. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Who are those people Downtown? Indianapolis summer convention list," 2 July 2019 The 3-day event series aims to develop female leadership within the music industry by providing attendees with training seminars, networking opportunities, and executive coaching. Kwasi Boadi, Billboard, "Rising Execs Eye a More Inclusive Industry at American Express' Women in Music Leadership Academy," 24 June 2019 In May, President Trump ordered American companies on national-security grounds to stop selling components to companies like Huawei, China’s big maker of mobile phones and networking equipment. Don Clark, New York Times, "Trade War Has Damaged U.S. Chip Industry in Ways a Deal May Never Fix," 27 June 2019

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

13 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce network (audio) \

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 How to pronounce network (audio) \

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).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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