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 show will air an exclusive interview Monday with Jeff Bezos and Caroline Kennedy to kick off the network's coverage of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. CBS News, "Norah O'Donnell on the future of "CBS Evening News"," 12 July 2019 And as the world gears up to switch to the fifth-generation wireless network, or 5G, that disparity could get worse. Rani Molla, Vox, "US mobile speeds are super slow. Here’s what we can do about it.," 12 July 2019 In another shakeup at ABC, two top executives at the network’s television production unit — Patrick Moran and Howard Davine — are departing the company as the new Fox regime tightens its grip. Meg James,, "Jonnie Davis becomes president of ABC Studios, replacing Disney veteran Patrick Moran," 10 July 2019 Virginia, which supplanted Texas, tied with Massachusetts for having the highest quality of education in the U.S., according to the business news network's study. Dallas News, "CNBC ranking hammers home what kept Texas from winning best state for business title," 10 July 2019 Far from Catron’s rich social network, the networks for these couples are generally weak and consistently resource-poor. Alan J. Hawkins, National Review, "What You Lose When You Diss the Public Good of Marriage," 10 July 2019 In fact, Mexico’s subsidized childcare network, which has served 2 million children since it was established in 2007, has been quite successful in enabling more women to work outside the home. Luis Gómez Romero, The Conversation, "Mexican president López Obrador has a woman problem," 10 July 2019 Mad was the smart-aleck spawn of the age of mass media, when everyone watched the same networks, flocked to the same movies and saluted the same flag. David Von Drehle, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Mad magazine is dying — maybe we should worry," 7 July 2019 States were reluctant to share intelligence, because Russian hackers had long ago penetrated the EU’s communication networks, which had been designed to carry information on fishing quotas rather than delicate war plans. The Economist, "Europe alone: July 2024," 6 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The day, which features a networking breakfast where all proceeds go towards charity, featured Brennan and Tony award winning actress Kelli O’Hara. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Travelers notebook: Patrick Cantlay, in striking distance after day one, Bubba Watson confident," 20 June 2019 Central Florida stations will be in local news with the option of going to network coverage from France. Hal Boedeker,, "D-Day: Coverage starts early Thursday; Trump talks to Ingraham," 5 June 2019 Dogs and their handlers participated in the three-day event that allowed handlers time to network and exchange best practices, rehearse the course with their dogs and take the exam to earn a two-year certification. Nina Bertelsen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Canine teams from the Midwest are training in Wisconsin this week. Here are 9 things to know about explosive-sniffing K-9s," 24 Oct. 2018 Despite the investment of vast resources over the past 20 years, the extreme fragility of existing qubits has so far restricted efforts to network them and has even fueled uncertainty about whether the technology will ever materialize. Quanta Magazine, "Forging a Qubit to Rule Them All," 15 May 2014 At the heart of the dispute was whether Arista infringed on Cisco’s intellectual property like programming commands used to configure Cisco networking hardware. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Arista to Pay Cisco $400 Million as Companies Settle IP Disputes," 6 Aug. 2018 More Andrew Adrian-Karlin, a 31-year-old technologist at a Chicago financial-services firm and member of Tepper’s M.B.A. class of 2019, attended an alumni-networking event on campus virtually last year, thanks to the TepperBot. Amber Burton, WSJ, "Does Your Online M.B.A. Program Feel Too Remote? There’s a Bot For That," 5 Dec. 2018 Many of the features in the Killer AX 1650 networking adapter aren’t necessarily new to people familiar with Killer Wi-Fi or networking chips. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Killer's AX 1650 network card taps Wi-Fi 6 for wireless gaming that doesn't suck," 15 Apr. 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

16 Jul 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

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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