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neat1

[neet]
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adjective, neat·er, neat·est.
  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.
    1. (of cement) without sand or other aggregate.
    2. (of plaster) without any admixture except hair or fiber.
  9. net: neat profits.
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adverb
  1. Informal. neatly.
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Origin of neat1

1300–50; Middle English net spruce, trim, clean < Middle French < Latin nitidus shining, polished, handsome, spruce, equivalent to nit(ēre) to shine + -idus -id4
Related formsneat·ly, adverbneat·ness, noun

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

1. sloppy. 6. maladroit. 7. mixed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for neatest

Historical Examples

  • It was the neatest, best-stored Ritualistic cupboard in Bumsteadville.

    Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 15, July 9, 1870

    Various

  • She fastened his collar and arranged his tie in the neatest of bows.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • This is one of the neatest plants of this structure in our woods.

  • Page after page of the neatest of minute figures, not a blot, not a blur, not an erasure.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • One of the neatest wishes of this kind is in a Greek epigram.


British Dictionary definitions for neatest

neat1

adjective
  1. clean, tidy, and orderly
  2. liking or insisting on order and cleanliness; fastidious
  3. smoothly or competently done; efficienta neat job
  4. pat or slickhis excuse was suspiciously neat
  5. (of alcoholic drinks) without added water, lemonade, etc; undiluted
  6. a less common word for net 2 neat profits
  7. slang, mainly US and Canadian good; pleasing; admirable
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Derived Formsneatly, adverbneatness, noun

Word Origin

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

neat2

noun plural neat
  1. archaic, or dialect a domestic bovine animal
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Word Origin

Old English neat
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 neatest

neat

adj.

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.

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neat

n.

"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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper