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

From Milan-Malpensa, travelers will then be able to connect to Air Italy's network for longer-haul flights (think Bangkok and Mumbai) or shorter hops, like to Naples and Palermo (one of our top places to visit in 2019). Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "It's Now Easier (and Cheaper!) for West Coasters to Fly Direct to Italy," 6 Dec. 2018 Here’s a Lockheed Martin video that describes ALIS: Every F-35 squadron, no matter the country, has a 13-server ALIS package that is connected to the worldwide ALIS network. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The F-35's Greatest Vulnerability Isn't Enemy Weapons. It's Being Hacked.," 14 Nov. 2018 The home sits in a 1,010-acre residential community with access to an impressive network of paths and trails. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Modern Hawaii home takes indoor-outdoor living to airy heights for $6.9M," 1 Nov. 2018 Announced via a sneak peek on Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday Oct. 23, Freeform's Good Trouble will premiere on the network on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. Radhika Menon, Teen Vogue, ""The Fosters" Spinoff "Good Trouble" Announces Release Date and First Look," 23 Oct. 2018 Even the strongest social support network could use some reinforcements, like the social workers most cancer centers have on staff, Dr. Westin says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "11 Things to Know After Receiving an Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis," 14 Dec. 2018 Google+ may be a punchline in the social-network world, but there’s something seriously wrong with it. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "After another massive Google+ data breach, you should probably delete your profile right now," 10 Dec. 2018 The event was held at King's College for the ACU (Association of Commonwealth Universities), an inter-university network for schools across the British Commonwealth. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Attended a Meeting on Higher Education in the Commonwealth," 5 Dec. 2018 The settlement is the latest domino to fall in the reckoning over whether CBS and other television networks did enough to stop senior executives and broadcast personalities from harassing younger employees. Nathaniel Popper, The Seattle Times, "CBS settles with women who said Rose harassed them," 11 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Regional meet-up groups, where investors network and share advice, have also sprouted. Cezary Podkul, WSJ, "‘I Can Be the Bank’: Individual Investors Buy Busted Mortgages," 20 Nov. 2018 Bumble, which has recently expanded to include people who want to network and create community, and find all different kinds of relationships and not exclusively romantic ones, has interesting features that other dating apps don’t. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Best Dating Apps for Queer and LGBTQ People," 24 Aug. 2018 An opportunity to network and meet people from different communities and backgrounds. Lori Riley,, "Local Latina Women Network, Learn Golf At Goodwin Park," 20 May 2018 There will be drinks, networking with other Recode fans, and the chance to meet Swisher herself. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg asked for George Soros research," 30 Nov. 2018 The opportunity to network with potential advisors and employers is a major part of the benefit of going to a meeting, says Winstanley. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "US travel ban blocking students from presenting their research," 14 Nov. 2018 The program gave me the opportunity to network with people with like minds. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers Faces Recruiting Hurdle," 12 Aug. 2018 Chamber members can network and bring a friend, colleague or neighbor. Laura Groch,, "North County Business Briefs, June 28," 28 June 2018 Get Konnected, Colette Phillips’s networking organization, celebrates its 10th anniversary Tuesday with an event honoring some of the influential people of color in Boston. Mark Shanahan,, "Get Konnected marks milestone by honoring influential people of color," 26 Mar. 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

15 Jan 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 \

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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