drag net

dragnet

[drag-net]
noun
1.
a net to be drawn along the bottom of a river, pond, etc., or along the ground, to catch fish, small game, etc.
2.
a system or network for finding or catching someone, as a criminal wanted by the police.

Origin:
1535–45; Middle English; see drag, net1, dray

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World English Dictionary
dragnet (ˈdræɡˌnɛt)
 
n
1.  a heavy or weighted net used to scour the bottom of a pond, river, etc, as when searching for something
2.  any system of coordinated efforts by police forces to track down wanted persons

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dragnet
O.E. drægnet, a net to drag the bottom of a body of water in fishing; see drag (v.) + net (n.). Figurative use is from 1640s; police sense attested by 1894.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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