—n. 1. a bag or other contrivance of strong thread or cord worked into an open, meshed fabric, for catching fish, birds, or other animals: a butterfly net. 2. a piece of meshed fabric designed to serve a specific purpose, as to divide a court in racket games or protect against insects: a tennis net; a mosquito net. 3. anything serving to catch or ensnare: a police net to trap the bank robber. 4. a lacelike fabric with a uniform mesh of cotton, silk, rayon, nylon, etc., often forming the foundation of any of various laces.
5. (in tennis, badminton, etc.) a ball that hits the net.
6. Often, nets. the goal in hockey or lacrosse.
7. any network or reticulated system of filaments, lines, veins, or the like.
8. Math.the abstraction, in topology, of a sequence; a map from a directed set to a given space.
9. any network containing computers and telecommunications equipment.
10. (cap.) Astron.the constellation Reticulum.
11. Informal.a radio or television network.
—v.t. 1. to cover, screen, or enclose with a net or netting: netting the bed to keep out mosquitoes. 2. to take with a net: to net fish. 3. to set or use nets in (a river, stream, etc.), as for catching fish.
4. to catch or ensnare: to net a dangerous criminal. 5. (in tennis, badminton, etc.) to hit (the ball) into the net.
—adj. 1. remaining after deductions, as for charges or expenses (opposed to gross): net earnings. 2. sold at a stated price with all parts and charges included and with all deductions having been made.
3. final; totally conclusive: After all that work, what was the net result? 4. (of weight) after deduction of tare, tret, or both.