There are 2 main definitions of net in English:

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net 1

Pronunciation: /net/


1A length of open-meshed material made of twine, cord, rope, or something similar, used typically for catching fish or other animals.
Example sentences
  • He fished with a golden net drawn by cords woven of purple and scarlet threads.
  • A good fisherman weaves his own nets with twine and a needle made of whalebone.
  • The guides had the students assist with the gathering of the mud samples, water samples, and catching fish and other sea animals with a net.
1.1A piece of open-meshed material supported by a frame at the end of a handle, used typically for catching fish or other aquatic animals or insects.
Example sentences
  • In the margins of the lake, I taught little Felix to hunt with an insect net.
  • Other items, such as insect nets, were in short supply in the theater.
  • If necessary, use an insect net to guard against the adults flying away.
1.2A length of open-meshed material supported on a frame and forming part of the goal in various games such as soccer and hockey: he turned Wilson’s cross into the net
More example sentences
  • Unable to find the net in either game, goals remain a problem.
  • Following a run of six successive wins, Paul Simpson's men have taken just one point from their last two matches and failed to find the net in both games.
  • However, they had to wait till late in the game to find the net.
1.3A length of open-meshed material supported on a cord between two posts to divide the playing area in various games such as tennis, badminton, and volleyball.
Example sentences
  • When her kids were growing up, Dale Kephart always had volleyball and badminton nets set up in the backyard.
  • Gone will be the trampolines, table tennis tables and badminton nets that occupy the main auditorium on weekday nights when there is no concert.
  • Before they took it away I suggested putting up two basketball posts and nets with goal posts underneath them like most other areas have but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
1.4A safety net: he felt like a tightrope-walker without a net
2A fine fabric with a very open weave: [as modifier]: net curtains
More example sentences
  • Selecting a modern look, Deepika has chosen mostly chiffons, gossamer net, silk and georgettes for her debut at LIFW.
  • Fabrics are given the technological touch with the use of rubberised velvet and wool, mirrored wool crepe, stretch net, organza and spider beaded georgette.
  • Cut the front stay from a firmly woven cotton blend for light control or from mediumweight, girdle-like power net fabric for firm control.
3A system or procedure for catching or entrapping someone; a trap: the search was delayed, allowing the murderers to escape the net
More example sentences
  • You have so much trapped yourself in a net of words, of speculations that the feeling itself, which is the only thing that is deep and vital in us, is lost.
  • Up to 7,500 civil servants have such an arrangement in Dublin and elsewhere in the country, but the car spaces have escaped the Ministers' net.
  • Finally, many criminals escape the judicial net, even though in the public eye they are criminals.
3.1A system or procedure for selecting or recruiting someone: he spread his net far and wide in his search for success
More example sentences
  • The co-operative intend to spread their net of membership as wide as possible among individuals and groups interested in the rural economy and rural development.
  • The festival will spread its net wide across the six major cities of Scotland - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.
  • Homeloans began as a broadly based financial services brokerage, but after six months Curry and Gavin realised they were spreading their net too wide.
4A network, in particular.
Example sentences
  • The hack will continue until the entire P2P net is, itself, taken down by the collateral damage.
  • And with the advantage the Republicans have on the cable nets, talk radio and chat TV shows, the odds are stacked in their favor.
  • In a moment, the word was flashing across radio and TV nets to military officials and private citizens.
4.1A communications or broadcasting network: the radio net was brought to life with a mayday
More example sentences
  • After someone gives the warning of an enemy in the area, the enemy's location and disposition is then broadcasted over the radio net.
  • And because the call was placed into a patch unit, it allowed us to link that net into other radio nets or telephone lines.
  • What types of radios and nets are we going to communicate with?
4.2A network of interconnected computers: a computer news net
More example sentences
  • Maybe H. Zuckerman, presumably a tough cop, was refusing to give her name so they could look up her vital statistics on various computer nets.
  • In Europe, prosecutors have brought cases against the alleged online attackers suspected of creating networks of compromised computers, known as bot nets.
  • The same could happen with the net - we'll have national nets with firewalls and exorbitant charges.
4.3 (the Net) The Internet.
Example sentences
  • Instead, these people have opted to use phone books or the Net to look-up numbers.
  • Now with the Net, we can get identity theft and stolen Internet access into the bargain.
  • Of those Net users quizzed, eight out of ten said they used the Net to search for information and for email.

verb (nets, netted, netting)

[with object]
1Catch or land (a fish or other animal) with a net.
Example sentences
  • They might catch the fish or net the bird but not consume it.
  • As we were quite high up from the water we used a landing net with a twelve foot long telescopic handle so that we could safely net any fish that we caught.
  • I netted a beast, all 11 lb 10 oz of it, from the York water at Beningbrough Park last Friday.
1.1Fish with nets in (a river): he has netted the creeks and found them clogged with fish
More example sentences
  • If you see any one netting the river or killing Pike over 3 kilo then report it.
  • How often I heard the stories of the poachers, pronounced poochers, who netted the river for salmon to the disgust of the rod-men and the local boatmen.
  • In the past I have reported about the illegal netting of lakes and rivers across Ireland.
1.2Acquire or obtain as if with a net: customs officials have netted large caches of drugs
More example sentences
  • Acting on a tip, Pattaya police were quickly in and out of the Night Market in South Pattaya and their big bust smothered a small time dealer, netting a cache of pornographic video CDs.
  • The sweep was successful in netting a large cache or weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other equipment.
  • In the ensuing days, a number of people were netted after stringent customs regulations and tightened security were put into effect.
informal nab, collar
2(In sports) hit or kick (a ball or puck) into the net; score (a goal): in six years Wright has netted 177 goals [no object]: Aldridge netted twice
More example sentences
  • Gilbert Mushangazhike, the visitors' leading goal scorer, netted twice in the first half, but missed a penalty in the second half.
  • Whilst they are hardly prolific scorers netting only six goals, their defence has done well in only conceding eight goals the least number of goals conceded, a sorry sight when your team cannot find goals.
  • Shanahan already has scored 20 goals after netting only 31 goals and 58 points last season.
3Cover with a net: we fenced off a rabbit-proof area for vegetables and netted the top



Pronunciation: /ˈnetˌfo͝ol/
noun (plural netfuls)
Example sentences
  • Pole tactics can build up nice netfuls of bream, perch and rudd.
  • So each netful was a complete package of sorts, containing one readily identifiable adult male and many mother-infant pairs.
  • Guys were getting big netfuls at the base of the dam with little effort.


Pronunciation: /-ˌlīk/
Example sentences
  • Patrol boats and helicopters sometimes entangle fugitive vessels by firing a netlike device into the water in front of it.
  • Etched into the surface of that mirror-flat basin was a netlike pattern of polygons bearing a remarkable resemblance to the ones I'd just seen in the frost-shaped landscape of northwestern Alaska.
  • When battles happen, the netlike web of human experience suffers a pull that causes the whole to distort from what would have been its dimensions otherwise.


Old English net, nett, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch net and German Netz.

Words that rhyme with net

abet, aiguillette, anisette, Annette, Antoinette, arête, Arlette, ate, baguette, banquette, barbette, barrette, basinet, bassinet, beget, Bernadette, beset, bet, Bette, blanquette, Brett, briquette, brochette, brunette (US brunet), Burnett, cadet, caravanette, cassette, castanet, charette, cigarette (US cigaret), clarinet, Claudette, Colette, coquette, corvette, couchette, courgette, croquette, curette, curvet, Debrett, debt, dinette, diskette, duet, epaulette (US epaulet), flageolet, flannelette, forget, fret, galette, gazette, Georgette, get, godet, grisette, heavyset, Jeanette, jet, kitchenette, La Fayette, landaulet, launderette, layette, lazaret, leatherette, let, Lett, lorgnette, luncheonette, lunette, Lynette, maisonette, majorette, maquette, Marie-Antoinette, marionette, Marquette, marquisette, martinet, met, minaret, minuet, moquette, motet, musette, Nanette, noisette, nonet, novelette, nymphet, octet, Odette, on-set, oubliette, Paulette, pet, Phuket, picquet, pillaret, pincette, pipette, piquet, pirouette, planchette, pochette, quartet, quickset, quintet, regret, ret, Rhett, roomette, rosette, roulette, satinette, septet, serviette, sestet, set, sett, sextet, silhouette, soubrette, spinet, spinneret, statuette, stet, stockinet, sublet, suffragette, Suzette, sweat, thickset, threat, Tibet, toilette, tret, underlet, upset, usherette, vedette, vet, vignette, vinaigrette, wagonette, wet, whet, winceyette, yet, Yvette
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There are 2 main definitions of net in English:

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net 2

Pronunciation: /net/


1(Of an amount, value, or price) remaining after a deduction, such as tax or a discount, has been made: net earnings per share rose the net worth of the business Often contrasted with gross (sense 4 of the adjective).
More example sentences
  • And it's a big boost to the bottomline with net value addition per person being 10-15 times the amount it is for BPOs.
  • Canary Wharf said its net value per share increased from £5.18 to £6.78 in the year to June.
  • Where 15% UK tax was deducted, the net amount received is liable to Irish tax.
after tax, after deductions, take-home, final
informal bottom line
1.1(Of a price) to be paid in full; not reducible.
Example sentences
  • The first definition of dumping focuses on price discrimination - the selling of identical goods at different net prices in different markets.
1.2(Of a weight) excluding that of the packaging or container.
Example sentences
  • Under the Bill consumers must only be charged on a net weight basis - that is, without any packaging included in the stated weight or price.
  • The enhanced net weight is partly created by the lack of fungal disease in the plants, since less fungal disease means that the plants need less trimming.
  • Additionally, tags will have the manufacturer's name and address, as well as the guarantee on the net weight of the feed contained in the bag.
1.3(Of a score in golf) adjusted to take account of a player’s handicap.
Example sentences
  • The boys team from Scoil Muire agus Padraig took home the prize for best nett score at the Connacht Schools Golf Championships played at the Ballina Course.
  • There was an interesting scenario last Saturday with a great prize for the best nett score of three nights and two days and golf at Noosaville with the winner to be present.
  • Stockley also lifted the Founders Cup for the best nett score when he shot a gross 83 off a handicap of 19.
2(Of an effect or result) final or overall: the net result is the same
More example sentences
  • The net effect of these factors is the accumulation of a large foreign debt by the Middle Eastern countries.
  • If the profit of one division increases with a corresponding decrease to another division the net overall effect is the same for the single entity and hence, the shareholders.
  • These improvements might be the net effect of two factors: starting treatment at earlier stages of disease, or better treatment for a given stage.
final, end, ultimate, closing;
overall, actual, effective

verb (nets, netting, netted)

[with object]
1Acquire or obtain (a sum of money) as clear profit: they sold their 20% stake, netting a huge profit in the process
More example sentences
  • The CA president netted the sum less than a fortnight after the US software company issued a profit warning which sent its share price plummeting.
  • In 1861, the two women had staged a fundraiser that netted the paltry sum of $675.
  • He also netted pension contributions and other perks of €68,000.
earn, make, get, gain, obtain, acquire, accumulate, clear, take home, bring in, pocket, realize, be paid
informal rake in
1.1 [with two objects] Return (profit or income) for (someone): the land netted its owner a turnover of $800,000
More example sentences
  • They sold a five-storey house in central London overlooking St James's Park for £5.7m in 2004, netting them £3.7m profit.
  • Council chiefs have confirmed the 105-year-old club has approached them to discuss the potential relocation that would net them millions of pounds.
  • Komarnitski earned third place in the annual Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award, netting him prize money of $3000.
1.2 (net something down/off/out) Exclude a non-net amount, such as tax, when making a calculation, in order to reduce the amount left to a net sum: the scrap or salvage value should be netted off against the original purchase price
More example sentences
  • The flows are netted out for each year, and discounted by the going interest rate.
  • Competitive tendering as an alternative to negotiated contracts has been shown in a number of contexts to yield cost savings (for a given level of service) before administrative charges are netted out of 20% on average.
  • If you try to net them down they tell us two things.


Middle English (in the senses 'clean' and 'smart'): from French net 'neat'; see neat1. The sense 'free from deductions' is first recorded in late Middle English commercial documents.

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