- in a pleasingly orderly and clean condition: a neat room.
- habitually orderly and clean in appearance or habits: a neat person.
- of a simple, pleasing appearance, style, design, etc.: a neat cottage.
- cleverly effective in character or execution: a neat scheme; a neat solution.
- Slang. great; wonderful; fine: What a neat car!
- clever, dexterous, or apt: She gave a neat characterization of the old woman.
- straight(def 33).
- Building Trades.
- (of cement) without sand or other aggregate.
- (of plaster) without any admixture except hair or fiber.
- net: neat profits.
- Informal. neatly.
Origin of neat1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- an animal of the genus Bos; a bovine, as a cow or ox.
Origin of neat2
Examples from the Web for neat
In a neat line, his agent, beginning a bidding war, promised: “Michiko Kakutani will flip for this.”What On Earth Is ‘The Affair’ About? Season One’s Baffling Finale
December 22, 2014
When Little Snow White entered, she found everything tiny, but dainty and neat.In New Brothers Grimm 'Snow White', The Prince Doesn't Save Her
The Brothers Grimm
November 30, 2014
The soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack.We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night
Nathan Bradley Bethea
June 2, 2014
In it he arrives at (as well as departs from; neat feat) the startling notion of the Great War as one that was pre-mourned.Geoff Dyer at Sea: Unmoored but on Target
Melissa Holbrook Pierson
May 21, 2014
Senator Paul also scorned “labels” and the tendency to corral politicians and thinkers into neat, ideological camps.Is Rand Paul a Secret Hawk? Or Maybe Not a Total Dove?
May 9, 2014
Katy is away for the night, you know, and I'm sure her room is as neat and pretty as can be.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
He brought forth from a pocket a neat sheaf of banknotes, which he held out.Within the Law
She had been so neat and orderly about everything and had kept him so clean from a baby up.What Sami Sings with the Birds
The clumsy framework of the receiver was reduced to a neat and portable size.Heroes of the Telegraph
In English, French, and Arabic, the reason was announced in neat print.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- clean, tidy, and orderly
- liking or insisting on order and cleanliness; fastidious
- smoothly or competently done; efficienta neat job
- pat or slickhis excuse was suspiciously neat
- (of alcoholic drinks) without added water, lemonade, etc; undiluted
- a less common word for net 2 neat profits
- slang, mainly US and Canadian good; pleasing; admirable
- archaic, or dialect a domestic bovine animal
Word Origin and History for neat
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.
"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."