- 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 for neat on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for neatest
It was the neatest, best-stored Ritualistic cupboard in Bumsteadville.
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.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
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.
- 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 neatest
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."