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[net-wurk] /ˈnɛtˌwɜrk/
any netlike combination of filaments, lines, veins, passages, or the like:
a network of arteries; a network of sewers under the city.
Radio and Television.
  1. a group of transmitting stations linked by wire or microwave relay so that the same program can be broadcast or telecast by all.
  2. a company or organization that provides programs to be broadcast over these stations:
    She was hired by the network as program coordinator.
Telecommunications, Computers. a system containing any combination of computers, computer terminals, printers, audio or visual display devices, or telephones interconnected by telecommunication equipment or cables: used to transmit or receive information.
an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, or the like:
a network of recent college graduates.
a system of interrelated buildings, offices, stations, etc., especially over a large area or throughout a country, territory, region, etc.:
a network of supply depots.
Electricity. an arrangement of conducting elements, as resistors, capacitors, or inductors, connected by conducting wire.
a netting or net.
verb (used without object)
to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position:
His business lunches were taken up with networking.
verb (used with object)
to place (as a program from a local radio or television station) in or on a network:
The station will try to network the local cooking show.
to connect to a network.
to distribute widely:
We charge a small fee for networking your résumé.
to cover with or as if with a network:
to network a bay with buoy markers.
to organize into a network:
to network the state's independent stations.
to broadcast (a program) over a radio or television network.
Origin of network
1550-60; 1910-15 for def 2; net1 + work
Related forms
networker, noun
nonnetwork, adjective
subnetwork, noun
supernetwork, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for network


an interconnected group or system: a network of shops
Also net. a system of intersecting lines, roads, veins, etc
another name for net1 (sense 1), netting
(radio, television) a group of broadcasting stations that all transmit the same programme simultaneously
(electronics) a system of interconnected components or circuits
(computing) a system of interconnected computer systems, terminals, and other equipment allowing information to be exchanged
(transitive) (radio, television) to broadcast on stations throughout the country: the Scotland–England match was networked
(computing) (of computers, terminals, etc) to connect or be connected
(intransitive) to form business contacts through informal social meetings
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
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Word Origin and History for network

"net-like arrangement of threads, wires, etc.," 1550s, from net (n.) + work (n.). Extended sense of "any complex, interlocking system" is from 1839 (originally in reference to transport by rivers, canals, and railways). Meaning "broadcasting system of multiple transmitters" is from 1914; sense of "interconnected group of people" is from 1947.


1887, "to cover with a network," from network (n.). From 1940 as "to broadcast over a (radio) network;" 1972 in reference to computers; 1980s in reference to persons. Related: Networked; networking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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network in Medicine

network net·work (nět'wûrk')

  1. A fabric or structure in which cords, threads, or wires cross at regular intervals.

  2. A body structure resembling such a fabric or structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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network in Science
A system of computers and peripherals, such as printers, that are linked together. A network can consist of as few as two computers connected with cables or millions of computers that are spread over a large geographical area and are connected by telephone lines, fiberoptic cables, or radio waves. The Internet is an example of very large network. See more at LAN, WAN.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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network in Culture

network definition

A system of computers that are joined together so that they can communicate by exchanging information and sharing resources. (See Internet and lan.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for network



To solicit opinion and aid from associates with common interests: I'm networking this question, but nobody has a certain answer (1980s+)

Related Terms

old boy network

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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