a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest: Working mothers in the community use networking to help themselves manage successfully.
the design, establishment, or utilization of a computer network.


of or relating to a network or networking: networking software, a networking system.

Origin of networking

First recorded in 1935–40; network + -ing1




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 formsnet·work·er, nounnon·net·work, adjectivesub·net·work, nounsu·per·net·work, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for networking

mingle, associate, meet, hobnob, circulate, schmooze

Examples from the Web for networking

Contemporary Examples of networking

Historical Examples of networking

  • Networking must also be supported by communications technologies.

    Shock and Awe

    Harlan K. Ullman

  • Enroll them in a networking club for the jobless, one of the really good ones.


    Cory Doctorow

  • As rudimentary as it still is, networking excludes everything that is not fast- paced and to the point.

  • Networking, at many levels and in many ways, is related to the characteristics of our pragmatic framework.

  • On the increasingly rewarding practical experiences of networking, literacy is challenged by transitory, partial literacies.

British Dictionary definitions for networking



computing the interconnection of two or more networks in different places, as in working at home with a link to a central computer in an office
forming business connections and contacts through informal social meetings


of or for networkingnetworking systems



an interconnected group or systema network of shops
Also: net a system of intersecting lines, roads, veins, etc
another name for net 1 (def. 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


(tr) radio television to broadcast on stations throughout the countrythe Scotland–England match was networked
computing (of computers, terminals, etc) to connect or be connected
(intr) 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

Word Origin and History for networking



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.



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

networking in Medicine




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

networking 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

networking in Culture


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.