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

As such, men’s basketball student-athletes who are testing the NBA Draft waters will be forced to listen to people who do not have the experience, knowledge, and network to truly help them make the best decisions. Stephen Means,, "Ohio State football considered playoff team in ESPN’s recent bowl projections: Buckeye Breakfast," 17 Sep. 2019 On Monday, mobile streaming network Quibi, global entertainment company Gunpowder & Sky, and EMH Consulting Group jointly announced that Turner has been cast in new thriller Survive, which has been greenlit for Quibi and is currently in production. Natalie Stone,, "Sophie Turner to Star in First TV Series Since GoT — What to Know About Her New Thriller," 16 Sep. 2019 During a shutoff: Limit non-emergency calls, only use 911 for emergencies and wait 10 seconds before redialing if a call doesn’t go through to not increase network congestion. Mallory Moench,, "FCC pressures cell service providers to prepare for California wildfire power shutoffs," 16 Sep. 2019 The impetus for much of his work was the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which authorized a 41,000-mile road network to connect the nation. Joy Wallace Dickinson,, "Through muck and mayhem, he paved path to the future," 15 Sep. 2019 The ski area and lift network appeal to beginning and intermediate skiers. Gerry Frank, oregonlive, "Head to Mount Hood any time of year: Gerry Frank’s picks," 15 Sep. 2019 With authority fragmented, there was little effective crime fighting and some militias even participated in criminal networks. New York Times, "Iraq Faces a New Adversary: Crystal Meth," 14 Sep. 2019 It's been standard operating procedure for local television networks to carry cable NFL broadcasts, although this year's Thursday games have relocated from CBS. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Local cable subscribers who no longer have NFL Network shouldn't worry about Sept. 26 Packers game," 13 Sep. 2019 Granted, four of the six major network broadcasts in Week 3 are Pac-12 road games and therefore owned by the host school’s conference and its TV partners. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Pac-12 need-to-knows: TV exposure doesn’t get any better than this weekend," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her advice to those looking for a job or a career change: Stay current in your field and continue to network. Pratik Joshi, The Denver Post, "Graying workforce, low unemployment changing way employers look for workers," 2 Sep. 2019 What we truly value is the opportunity to network with our clients, our friends and each other. USA TODAY, "Florida conference helps grow networking, businesses for HR professionals," 9 July 2019 For the black students of those first integrated classes, the socializing and networking with white children was just as crucial as the classroom learning, said Carole Porter. Melanie Mason,, "School busing in Berkeley during Kamala Harris’ childhood was both voluntary and volatile," 30 June 2019 His first coaching role at the NBA was with Orlando Magic -- an unpaid position which allowed him to network with the best in the game. Amanda Sealy, CNN, "Masai Ujiri: Why Toronto Raptor's president sees promise in Africa," 28 June 2019 Applicants will have the opportunity to network with Rheem employees and hiring managers to learn more about the company. William Thornton |,, "Rheem to hold Montgomery job fair June 17," 7 June 2019 Chelsea Marsh spends most of her days networking with high school kids. Teghan Simonton, USA Today, "College recruiters aggressively go after out-of-state kids," 19 Aug. 2019 Shoelace is being tested with more modest aims than the company’s prior social-networking efforts. Rex Crum, The Mercury News, "Google gives social networking another try with new Shoelace app," 12 July 2019 San Jose’s Cisco is looking to meet rising performance demands on networking gear from data center operators and telecommunications companies., "Jay-Z teams with San Jose pot firm; Louvre sells scents; Cisco buys Acacia," 9 July 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

8 Oct 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

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