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neat1

[neet] /nit/
adjective, neater, neatest.
1.
in a pleasingly orderly and clean condition:
a neat room.
2.
habitually orderly and clean in appearance or habits:
a neat person.
3.
of a simple, pleasing appearance, style, design, etc.:
a neat cottage.
4.
cleverly effective in character or execution:
a neat scheme; a neat solution.
5.
Slang. great; wonderful; fine:
What a neat car!
6.
clever, dexterous, or apt:
She gave a neat characterization of the old woman.
7.
straight (def 33).
8.
Building Trades.
  1. (of cement) without sand or other aggregate.
  2. (of plaster) without any admixture except hair or fiber.
9.
net:
neat profits.
adverb
10.
Informal. neatly.
Origin of neat1
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English net spruce, trim, clean < Middle French < Latin nitidus shining, polished, handsome, spruce, equivalent to nit(ēre) to shine + -idus -id4
Related forms
neatly, adverb
neatness, noun
Synonyms
1. spruce, smart. 4. finished, well-planned. 6. adroit. 7. unmixed, pure.
Antonyms
1. sloppy. 6. maladroit. 7. mixed.

neat2

[neet] /nit/
noun, plural neat.
1.
an animal of the genus Bos; a bovine, as a cow or ox.
Origin
before 900; Middle English neet, Old English nēat, cognate with Old Norse naut, Middle Dutch noot; akin to Old English nēotan to use, possess
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for neat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From the skirt of the suit had been cut a neat, square hole.

    Voice from the Cave Mildred A. Wirt
  • He brought forth from a pocket a neat sheaf of banknotes, which he held out.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • His attire was neat and faultless, consisting of black frock-coat, grey trousers, and a small lay-down collar.

  • The clumsy framework of the receiver was reduced to a neat and portable size.

  • Fifty neat stories can be made up to suit the case, if there is need of explanation.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
British Dictionary definitions for neat

neat1

/niːt/
adjective
1.
clean, tidy, and orderly
2.
liking or insisting on order and cleanliness; fastidious
3.
smoothly or competently done; efficient: a neat job
4.
pat or slick: his excuse was suspiciously neat
5.
(of alcoholic drinks) without added water, lemonade, etc; undiluted
6.
a less common word for net2 neat profits
7.
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) good; pleasing; admirable
Derived Forms
neatly, adverb
neatness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French net, from Latin nitidus clean, shining, from nitēre to shine; related to Middle Irish niam beauty, brightness, Old Persian naiba- beautiful

neat2

/niːt/
noun (pl) neat
1.
(archaic or dialect) a domestic bovine animal
Word Origin
Old English neat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for neat
adj.

1540s, "clean, free from dirt," from Anglo-French neit, Middle French net "clear, pure" (12c.), from Latin nitidus "well-favored, elegant, trim," literally "gleaming," from nitere "to shine," from PIE root *nei- "to shine" (cf. Middle Irish niam "gleam, splendor," niamda "shining;" Old Irish noib "holy," niab "strength;" Welsh nwyfiant "gleam, splendor").

Meaning "inclined to be tidy" is from 1570s. Of liquor, "straight," c.1800, from meaning "unadulterated" (of wine), which is first attested 1570s. Informal sense of "very good" first recorded 1934 in American English; variant neato is teenager slang, first recorded 1968. Related: Neatly; neatness.

n.

"ox, bullock, cow," Old English neat "ox, beast, animal," from Proto-Germanic *nautam "thing of value, possession" (cf. Old Frisian nat, Middle Dutch noot, Old High German noz, Old Norse naut), from PIE root *neud- "to make use of, enjoy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for neat

neat

adjective

  1. Excellent; wonderful (1920s+ Teenagers)
  2. Without water or another mixer; undiluted; straight, straight-up •Used to describe spirits: I'll take my Scotch neat, please (1579+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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