- 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
Examples from the Web for neatly
They also give the impression that you have a neatly organized life.Handbags: The More You Pay, The Smaller They Shrink
December 29, 2014
He caught the first round in his thin and neatly clipped beard, right under the jaw.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
The neighbors first on the scene wondered how Taylor could have died “so neatly.”How to Get Away With a Hollywood Murder
October 10, 2014
When he looks at the neatly compiled jigsaw puzzle of his life, however, he feels empty, deeply dissatisfied.Is ‘Satisfaction’ a Love Story That’s Too Real About Sex and Marriage?
September 19, 2014
Neatly hung laundry still dangled over the main street from the second-floor balcony of an apartment above a blown-out storefront.Who Is Behind Gaza's Mass Execution?
August 1, 2014
But, alike, young and old are neatly and wholesomely dressed.The Roof of France
They were neatly in order, and the berths had been made since they were used.Salvage in Space
John Stewart Williamson
Yes; and so quickly, so neatly it was done, that I could not do aught to prevent it.
She is neatly dressed, wears a silk fiché, and is as alert as ever.
Sometimes he went out, wearing fresh linen and neatly combed.L'Assommoir
- 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 neatly
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."