neat

1 [neet]
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.
a.
(of cement) without sand or other aggregate.
b.
(of plaster) without any admixture except hair or fiber.
9.
net: neat profits.
adverb
10.
Informal. neatly.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English net spruce, trim, clean < Middle French < Latin nitidus shining, polished, handsome, spruce, equivalent to nit(ēre) to shine + -idus -id4

neatly, adverb
neatness, noun


1. spruce, smart. 4. finished, well-planned. 6. adroit. 7. unmixed, pure.


1. sloppy. 6. maladroit. 7. mixed.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
neat1 (niːt)
 
adj
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 net : neat profits
7.  slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) good; pleasing; admirable
 
[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]
 
'neatly1
 
adv
 
'neatness1
 
n

neat2 (niːt)
 
n , pl neat
archaic, dialect or a domestic bovine animal
 
[Old English neat]

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

neat
1542, "clean, free from dirt," from Anglo-Fr. neit, from O.Fr. net "clear, pure," from L. nitidus "well-favored, elegant, trim," lit. "gleaming," from nitere "to shine," from PIE base *nei-/*ni- "to shine" (cf. M.Ir. niam "gleam, splendor," niamda "shining;" O.Ir. noib "holy," niab "strength;" Welsh
nwyfiant "gleam, splendor"). Meaning "inclined to be tidy" is from 1577. Sense of "straight liquor" is c.1800, from meaning "unadulterated" (of wine), first attested 1579. Informal sense of "very good" first recorded 1934 in Amer.Eng.; variant neato is teenager slang, first recorded 1968. Neatnik "excessively tidy person" is from 1959 (see -nik).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But this theoretical neatness runs into a practical problem.
In academe, style and neatness are not at a premium.
One thing about them was conspicuous: their scrupulous neatness.
He lays his opinion before you with a grave simplicity and a perfect neatness.
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