- a net to be drawn along the bottom of a river, pond, etc., or along the ground, to catch fish, small game, etc.
- a system or network for finding or catching someone, as a criminal wanted by the police.
Origin of dragnet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dragnet
A new book “Dragnet Nation” asks hard questions about our online lives.
There are stretches in Dragnet Nation that are too obviously designed to scare, and parts feel paranoid.
As Julia Angwin notes in her new book, Dragnet Nation, the watershed year for tracking was 2001.
They were arrested at Cairo's Ramses Square on August 16, caught up in the dragnet of a mass arrest carried out by the military.Interview With Canadian Filmmaker John Greyson Following His Release from Cairo's Tora Prison
October 11, 2013
But despite their successes, Aykroyd and Hanks' rap duet at the end of their 1987 film Dragnet was not exactly a plus.Harry Potter Hip-Hop
July 13, 2011
Our luck is like water in a dragnet: you pull at it and it bulges, but when you've drawn it out it's empty!War and Peace
"Mascola ran across our trammels this morning with a dragnet," the girl explained.El Diablo
He catches them in his net, and gathers them in his dragnet.
Ronquillo had “set a dragnet,” and taken the rice of all the people within reach, beginning with himself.The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898
E. H. Blair
Their idea of hunting for a workman is to dragnet the back rooms of saloons—especially if they're after a Socialist.The Air Trust
George Allan England
- a heavy or weighted net used to scour the bottom of a pond, river, etc, as when searching for something
- any system of coordinated efforts by police forces to track down wanted persons
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
Word Origin and History for dragnet
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper