\ˈnōd \

Definition of node 

1a : a pathological swelling or enlargement (as of a rheumatic joint)

b : a discrete mass of one kind of tissue enclosed in tissue of a different kind

2 : an entangling complication (as in a drama) : predicament

3 : either of the two points where the orbit of a planet or comet intersects the ecliptic also : either of the points at which the orbit of an earth satellite crosses the plane of the equator

4a : a point, line, or surface of a vibrating body or system that is free or relatively free from vibratory motion

b : a point at which a wave has an amplitude of zero

5a : a point at which subsidiary parts originate or center

b : a point on a stem at which a leaf or leaves are inserted

c : a point at which a curve intersects itself in such a manner that the branches have different tangents

d : vertex sense 1b

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for node


bump, knot, lump, nodule, swelling

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of node in a Sentence

the doctor examined the node on my knee before deciding it was the result of arthritis

Recent Examples on the Web

This chip was a disappointment by 2016 standards, as the high-end Snapdragon 820 had moved to a 14nm process node. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Review: Google’s Wear OS 2.0 can’t fix its obsolete smartwatch hardware," 28 Sep. 2018 TrellisWare, of San Diego, claims 8m bps over more than 200 nodes. The Economist, "A new type of battlefield network is in development," 14 June 2018 From a legal perspective, users who run blockchain nodes perform functions similar to internet service providers or web hosts. Kevin Werbach, WIRED, "Why Porn on the Blockchain Won't Doom Bitcoin," 29 Mar. 2018 While reasons were not detailed, there was speculation that the consortium was blocked because Ausgrid included an electricity node that was connected to the secretive joint U.S.-Australian intelligence facility at Pine Gap in central Australia. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Australia to block Chinese $9 billion energy takeover bid," 7 Nov. 2018 Through this, networks expand explosively as new nodes link most often to those that are already most widely connected. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "You’re a Bad Investor? That Can Be Good," 19 Oct. 2018 That’s because nodes are often clustered at low-elevations around dense populations. Rob Goodier, Popular Mechanics, "How Climate Change Could Break the Internet," 19 July 2018 Eclipses are dynamic cosmic occurrences that activate the lunar nodes. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "A Beginner's Guide to Eclipses in 2018 and How They Can Affect Your Life," 16 July 2018 When there are two flowers left, cut it below the first flower or above the top node. Karen Ridder, kansascity, "Caring for elegant orchids (and carnivorous plants) isn’t as hard as you think," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'node.' 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 node

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for node

Middle English, from Latin nodus knot, node; akin to Middle Irish naidm bond

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about node

Statistics for node

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for node

The first known use of node was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for node



English Language Learners Definition of node

: a small lump or mass of tissue in your body

: the small round part on the stem of a plant where a leaf grows

: a place where lines in a network cross or meet


\ˈnōd \

Kids Definition of node

: a thickened spot or part (as of a plant stem where a leaf develops)


\ˈnōd \

Medical Definition of node 

1a : a pathological swelling or enlargement (as of a rheumatic joint)

b : a body part resembling a knot especially : a discrete mass of one kind of tissue enclosed in tissue of a different kind — see atrioventricular node, lymph node

2 : a point, line, or surface of a vibrating body that is free or relatively free of vibratory motion

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on node

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with node

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for node

Spanish Central: Translation of node

Nglish: Translation of node for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of node for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about node

Comments on node

What made you want to look up node? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!