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net 1 (nĕt)
1. An openwork fabric made of threads or cords that are woven or knotted together at regular intervals.
2. Something made of openwork fabric, especially:
a. A device for capturing birds, fish, or insects.
b. A barrier against flying insects.
c. A mesh for holding the hair in place.
d. Something that entraps; a snare.
e. A fine mesh fabric used as curtain or dress material or as the foundation for various laces.
3. Sports
a. A barrier of meshwork cord or rope strung between two posts to divide a court in half, as in tennis and badminton.
b. A ball that is hit into this meshwork barrier.
c. The goal in soccer, hockey, and lacrosse.
d. The cord meshwork attached to the hoop of a basket in basketball.
4. A meshed network of lines, figures, or fibers.
5. Computers A complex, interconnected group or system, as:
a. or Net The internet.
b. See network.
6. A radio, television, or telephone network.
tr.v. net·ted, net·ting, nets
1. To catch or ensnare in a net: net fish.
2. To acquire or obtain: an investment that netted a hefty profit; a personal ad that netted a dozen responses.
3. To cover, protect, or surround with a net or network: "The heart [is] netted with a maze of curving blood vessels that send blood through it in swirling patterns" (Jennifer Ackerman).
4. Sports
a. To hit (the ball) into the net, as in volleyball.
b. To shoot (the ball or puck) into the goal, as in soccer or hockey.
c. To score (a goal).

[Middle English, from Old English; see ned- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. N., sense 5a, short for INTERNET.]

netter n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
net 2 (nĕt)
1. Business
a. Remaining after all deductions have been made, as for expenses: net profit.
b. Remaining after tare is deducted: net weight.
2. Ultimate; final: the net result.
1. Business A net amount, as of profit or weight.
2. The main point; the essence: the net of our discussion.
tr.v. net·ted, net·ting, nets
1. To bring in or yield as profit.
2. To clear as profit.

[Middle English, elegant, remaining after deductions, from Old French, elegant, and from Old Italian netto, remaining after deductions, both from Latin nitidus, clean, elegant; see NEAT1.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.