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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from network


networker \ ˈnet-​ˌwər-​kər How to pronounce networker (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for network

Synonyms: Noun

mesh, net, netting

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Software Developer Growth Rate: 24% Median Salary: $102,880 per year ($49.46 per hour) The big brother of the web developer, software developers use their computer skills to make programs and design systems or networks. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Going Back to School Is Worth It for These Interesting Careers," 30 May 2019 SisterSong, led by Monica Simpson, is a national organization based in the South that builds networks to protect the reproductive rights of communities that are marginalized. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Can We Have a Conversation About Abortion Bans and the South?," 29 May 2019 It was shopped around to several streaming networks before finding a home at Hulu. Glamour, "Little Fires Everywhere," 25 May 2019 But some top colleges, like Stanford University, have previously refuted this claim, citing a need to build strong alumni networks. Zach Schermele, Teen Vogue, "Getting Into College Is A Lot Easier If Your Parents Went There. Here's Why.," 22 May 2019 Like many a series finale, especially on this network, this one is destined to be argued about for a while–at least until the nerds refocus their attention on David Benioff and D. B. Weiss's take on Star Wars. Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "Even Classicists Hated the Game of Thrones Finale," 20 May 2019 Advertising Deputy City Manager Bo Ferguson said Thursday that the permit to do work on a fiber-optic network was held by a subsidiary of communications company Crown Castle. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "Worker calmly reveals gas leak in 911 call before blast," 12 Apr. 2019 Much of the function of this ear-nose-throat network hinges on tiny canals called the Eustachian tubes. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here’s How to Get Relief From Ear Pressure When You’re Sick," 9 Apr. 2019 Having repairs done outside the manufacturer’s dealer network or even missing a scheduled maintenance visit can be enough to void a CPO warranty. Car and Driver, "A Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Could Be a Great Deal," 22 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Wirecutter even recommended it as the best Wi-Fi mesh-networking kit thanks to its easy-to-use yet high-end router features. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Upgrade Your Networking Gear With This Netgear Orbi Sale," 5 Apr. 2019 Entrepreneurs can network over drinks and plan their night using an event app. Allison Hagan,, "Business agenda," 10 July 2018 In recent quarters, Cisco has managed to offset sluggishness in its legacy networking gear with security services. Jay Greene, WSJ, "Cisco Growth Could Feel Pressure From Tariff, Challenges in Security Sector," 13 Feb. 2019 The event features a four-day program of conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Snap's Ben Schwerin & Geffen's Neil Jacobson to Deliver Joint Keynote at Midem 2018," 26 Apr. 2018 In Austin, Lime teamed up with Austin Music Foundation, a program to strengthen the local music industry through workshops, panels and networking events. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Scooter companies are trying to rehabilitate their reputations as cities crack down," 23 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of network


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about network

Statistics for network

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for network

The first known use of network was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!