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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Example sentences
In the open position, the dragnet is suspended above the access road.
Dragnet clauses will only be upheld where no ambiguity exists and the clause can be interpreted according to the language used.
The goal of the day long dragnet is simple, to make the community safer.
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