[ drag-net ]
/ ˈdrægˌnɛt /


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.


Nearby words

  1. draggy,
  2. draghound,
  3. draglift,
  4. dragline,
  5. dragline crane,
  6. drago,
  7. drago, luis maría,
  8. dragoman,
  9. dragomanic,
  10. dragon

Origin of dragnet

Middle English word dating back to 1535–45; see origin at drag, net1, dray

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dragnet

British Dictionary definitions for dragnet


/ (ˈdræɡˌnɛt) /


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



Old English drægnet, a net to drag the bottom of a body of water in fishing; see drag (v.) + net (n.). Figurative use is from 1640s; police sense attested by 1894.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper