Meaning of “net” in the English Dictionary

"net" in British English

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uk /net/ us /net/ plural -tt-

net noun (MATERIAL)

B1 [ C or U ] material made of threads of rope, string, wire, or plastic with spaces between them, allowing gas, liquid, or small objects to go through, or an object made with this material that is used to limit the movement of something:

a fishing net
a butterfly net
Dolphins often get tangled in the nets that are used to catch tuna fish.
UK The living-room windows have net curtains that let in sunlight but stop passers-by looking in from the street.

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net noun (SPORT)

B1 [ C ] a rectangular piece of material made from string, used to separate the two sides in various sports:

If the ball touches the net during a serve in a game of tennis, you have to serve again.

B1 [ C ] the area surrounded by a piece of material made from string into which a ball or puck is put in order to score points in various sports:

His penalty kick placed the ball decisively in the back of the net.
a basketball net

netverb [ T ]

uk /net/ us /net/ -tt-

netadjective [ before or after noun ]

-tt- UK also nett uk /net/ us /net/

left when there is nothing else to be taken away:

I earn $50,000 gross, but my net income (= income that is left after tax has been paid) is about $36,000.
The net weight of something excludes the weight of the material that it is packed in.

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the Netnoun [ S ]

uk /ˈnet/ us /ˈnet/


uk /ˌdɒtˈnet/ us /ˌdɑːtˈnet/

(Definition of “net” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"net" in American English

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netnoun [ C ]

us /net/

net noun [ C ] (MATERIAL)

a piece of material made of long, narrow strips woven so that there are spaces between them:

fishing nets
a volleyball net

netadjective [ not gradable ]

us /net/

net adjective [ not gradable ] (LEFT OVER)

(of money received from selling something) left after you have subtracted the cost of what you are selling, and other expenses related to it:

fig. The net result (= result after everything has been considered) of the changes will be fewer trains for most suburban commuters.

Net weight is the weight of something contained in a package, without including the weight of the package.

physics Net force is the total amount of force that is in effect on an object at a particular time.

netverb [ T ]

us /net/ -tt-

net verb [ T ] (GET)

to succeed in getting something of value, esp. as the result of a plan of action:

The deal netted the online video company $23 million.

net verb [ T ] (HIT INTO NET)

(in sports) to hit the ball into a net instead of over it:

He netted an easy backhand in the fifth game to lose the tennis match.

To net is also to catch something in a net:

They netted five crabs.

net verb [ T ] (HAVE LEFT OVER)

to have left after you have subtracted the cost of what you are selling, and other expenses related to it:

Smithsonian, on a gross of $28 million, netted $7 million with one magazine.

Netnoun [ U ]

us /net/

short form ofInternet

Net is also used at the end of a US Internet address to show that the address belongs to a network:

(Definition of “net” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

".net" in Business English

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uk /ˌdɒtˈnet/ us INTERNET

part of an internet address that shows that it belongs to a business, often a network that provides internet services:

Their website address is


uk /net/ us

[ U ] US also net income, also net profit MONEY, TAX the amount of profit that a business has left after tax has been paid:

The company's fourth-quarter net edged higher to $22.4 million from $22 million.
cast/spread your net wide

to include many people or things when you are looking for something or trying to do something:

With unemployment in the area below 1%, it has had to cast its net wide to fill the 70 jobs it expects to create this year.

See also

netverb [ T ]

uk /net/ us

ACCOUNTING if something nets a person or a business an amount of money, it produces that amount for them after all costs have been paid:

a deal/scheme/sale nets sb sth The sale of the three big oil enterprises could net the country $3 billion.

ACCOUNTING to earn an amount of profit after tax and other costs have been paid:

He had netted $1 million before he was 40.
net sb sth The business was sold in 1998, netting him £174m.
People who decided to sell netted a huge profit.

informal to obtain or achieve something good:

His 200 applications netted only three callbacks.


UK also nett uk /net/ us

ACCOUNTING, FINANCE used to describe an amount of money that is left after tax and other costs have been paid:

net amount/gain/loss Sixty percent of any net gain or loss will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss.
net earnings/income/profit She favored switching the system entirely from a tax on net company profits to one on the gross value of the oil.
a net increase/decrease in sth The state will see a net increase of $743 million in income, sales, and other tax revenue.

COMMERCE, PRODUCTION used to describe a situation in which the value of goods sold or exported by one country is more than the value of the same type of goods sold or exported by the other:

The UK became a net exporter of oil.

used to describe what is left after everything important has been included or removed:

net effect/impact/result The net result of all the changes in employment levels was a solid gain of 157,000 jobs last month.



uk /net/ us

ACCOUNTING, FINANCE after tax and other costs have been paid:

She earns a salary of $60,000 net.

the netnoun

also the Net uk /net/ us INTERNET

[ S ] INTERNET →  internet noun

(Definition of “.net” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)