net1 / net/ • n. 1. a length of open-meshed material made of twine, cord, rope, or something similar, used typically for catching fish or other animals. ∎ a piece of such material supported by a frame at the end of a handle, used typically for catching fish or other aquatic animals or insects. ∎ a length of such 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. ∎ a length of such material supported on a cord between two posts to divide the playing area in various games such as tennis, badminton, and volleyball. ∎ a safety net: he felt like a tightrope-walker without a net. ∎ a hairnet.2. a fine fabric with a very open weave: [as adj.] net curtains. 3. fig. a system or procedure for catching or entrapping someone; a trap: the search was delayed, allowing the murderers to escape the net. ∎ a system or procedure for selecting or recruiting someone: he spread his net far and wide in his search for success.4. a network, in particular: ∎ a communications or broadcasting network: the radio net was brought to life with a mayday. ∎ a network of interconnected computers: a computer news net. ∎ (the Net) the Internet.• v. (net·ted, net·ting) [tr.] 1. catch or land (a fish or other animal) with a net. ∎ fish with nets in (a river): he has netted the creeks and found them clogged with fish. ∎ fig. acquire or obtain as if with a net: customs officials have netted large caches of drugs.2. (in sports) hit or kick (a ball or puck) into the net; score (a goal): in six years Wright has netted 177 goals | [intr.] Aldridge netted twice. 3. cover with a net: we fenced off a rabbit-proof area for vegetables and netted the top.DERIVATIVES: net·ful / -ˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) .net·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.net2 • adj. 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 2). ∎ (of a price) to be paid in full; not reducible. ∎ (of a weight) excluding that of the packaging or container. ∎ (of a score in golf) adjusted to take account of a player's handicap.2. (of an effect or result) final or overall: the net result is the same.• v. (net·ted, net·ting) [tr.] acquire or obtain (a sum of money) as clear profit: they sold their 20% stake, netting a huge profit in the process. ∎ return (profit or income) for (someone): the land netted its owner a turnover of $800,000. ∎ (net something down/off/out) exclude a nonnet 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. ∎ get; obtain: the Bills netted 5,276 yards of offense.
The Net is an informal term for the Internet.
in vain the net is spread in the sight of the bird proverbial saying, late 14th century, meaning that a person who has seen the process by which someone intends to harm them is unlikely to be in danger. The original allusion is biblical, to Proverbs 1:17, ‘Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.’
slip (or fall) through the net escape from or be missed by something intended to catch or deal with one.
See also all is fish that comes to the net.
The sum that remains following all permissible deductions, including charges, expenses, discounts, commissions, or taxes.
Net assets, for example, are what remain after an individual subtracts the amount owed to creditors from his or her assets. Net pay is the salary an individual actually receives after deductions such as income tax and social security payments.
Hence vb. XVI.