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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


a neat solution (=simple and clever)
▪ This sounded like a neat solution to the skills shortage.
good/neat/fancy etc footwork
▪ The England keeper revealed some fancy footwork in the victory over Nottingham Forest.
have neat/small etc handwriting
▪ Yu Yin has tiny handwriting.
neat and cleanespecially AmE:
▪ Her kids were always neat and clean.
neat and tidy
▪ Ellen’s room is always neat and tidy.
▪ Your handwriting is much neater than mine.
▪ First wrap your parcels securely in the chosen paper, ensuring that all the folds and flaps are as neat as possible.
▪ Wasn't it just as neat and unlikely to blame the parents as it was to talk about possession by devils?
▪ She was not quite as neat as she used to be.
▪ The priests who'd officiated at Por Tanssie had been as neat as soldiers.
▪ Ivy covered and as neat and quiet as a convent.
▪ The dead lay inside this fortified enclosure in rows as neat as those in the Martins' kitchen-garden.
▪ I try and eat the rest of the doughnut as neat as I can but I end up all sugary and sticky.
▪ And he can do all kinds of really neat magic.
▪ At first he thought it was really neat that Marty was paying my rent.
▪ And one of the New Zealand guys thought it would be really neat to nick the guy's gun.
▪ And they all think that creating the future is really neat.
▪ It's really neat I reckon - like that picture of the man in that rowing boat.
▪ It was so neat and we had a good time.
▪ Clean architectural lines, gleaming glass, flower beds so neat and regimented that no weed would dare to seed itself.
▪ She was so neat and quick in all her movements, and Matey had made her careful.
▪ And the way it was delivered to him, so neat, so innocent-seeming a package.
▪ Perhaps the idea was too neat.
▪ The boxes at either end were all too neat and snug.
▪ So don't go looking too neat.
▪ This is very neat - perhaps too neat.
▪ The whole operation sounds too neat to be true - but it seems to be working at least as well as other last-ditch cancer treatments.
▪ All this stuff about polyneuritis was handy, thought Henry, but perhaps a little too neat.
▪ I felt out of proportion with a short bob and, although striking, it was too neat and tidy for me.
▪ He was about fifty-five, short, sturdy, and very neat.
▪ The trees were very neat and orderly.
▪ This band is very neat and really does give a garment a professional finish.
▪ I was not doing a very neat job with her lining, but she said nothing about it.
▪ All very neat and orderly, it seems.
▪ This is very neat - perhaps too neat.
▪ And now, thanks to a very neat bit of deduction, you know.
▪ The Palisade units produced by Forest Fencing are individually machine turned to give a very neat appearance.
▪ It included, for example, a neat pile of bullets, the artist being flown in to do the piling.
▪ I picked up the neat pile of clothing and placed it on the chair near the stove.
▪ Wrapped in copious instruction leaflets and next to a neat pile of syringes, formidable quantities of snakebite serum had thoughtfully been provided.
▪ I tried the next drawer, which was filled with neat piles of nylon underpants in a quite large old-lady style.
▪ The room has remained untouched, its files and papers in the same neat piles the actor had left them in.
▪ I wanted to pick up the neat pile of paper lying on the bed and fling it into the air.
▪ A long, rather stark couch held neat piles of clean kandoras and white head scarves which were laid there daily.
▪ Her eyes fell to the open fireplace, the large, gaping grate with its neat pile of sawn logs.
▪ No doubt they would return and place him with the other Commando dead in neat rows in front of the Chateau to await burial.
▪ Flanking a canal, it was enclosed by a bamboo fence, and neat rows of thatched-roof huts had been laid out.
▪ Books and papers in neat rows and piles crammed all the available space between floor and ceiling.
▪ Tracer rounds corkscrewed through the glare, and people were dying in long neat rows.
▪ Expensive cars parked in neat rows that the staff had reserved for them.
▪ The teacher kindly explains, with rules and exceptions marked off in neat rows and columns on the blackboard.
▪ Then they were sat down in neat rows, boys on one side and girls on the other.
▪ Tables are set up side by side, in neat rows on the massive floor of the Phoenix Civic Plaza.
▪ It was a neat trick, but it never seemed to fit the open-faced characters he played.
▪ Dole has to go negative without seeming negative, a neat trick.
▪ He must both get into the fray and seem above it, another neat trick.
▪ That was a neat trick all right.
▪ Perhaps the neatest way of expressing the distinction is to contrast unilateral and cooperative procedures.
▪ However, a neat way of operating the bridge was devised by Robinson.
▪ Using the Power Station is the safest and neatest way to distribute the power to all the other units here.
▪ "Why don't we go to the beach!'' "Yeah that sounds really neat.''
▪ a neat software package
▪ An man in a neat gray suit sat on the other side of the bar.
▪ Billy's cottage was set back off the road, behind a neat little hedge.
▪ Chris looked neat and well shaven.
▪ Douglas drinks his scotch neat.
▪ Draw a rough diagram -- it doesn't have to be very neat.
▪ Gina has very small neat handwriting.
▪ He put his clothes in a neat pile on the bed.
▪ His jackets were arranged in a neat row in the closet.
▪ I bought a neat tool for carving wood.
▪ I like to see everything looking neat and tidy.
▪ I met some really neat people at the conference.
▪ It's a complicated problem, and there's no neat solution.
▪ Jim and I need more time together away from the kids, so we came up with this neat idea of meeting after work.
▪ Mrs Woodie cut the sandwiches in neat squares.
▪ Neither of my sons is neat by nature.
▪ One of our designers has come up with a neat idea for storing computer disks.
▪ She had been waiting there all night, but she still looked neat.
▪ Taking up a sport is a neat way of meeting new people, and it's good for you too.
▪ A few neat steps, a well-choreographed move and they claimed one back.
▪ At the Penta the porters had worked out a neat scam with the airline crews who regularly booked into the hotel.
▪ Dole has to go negative without seeming negative, a neat trick.
▪ He was about fifty-five, short, sturdy, and very neat.
▪ The handwriting was neat and prim.
▪ They were part of another life, neat signals towards its ending.
▪ Two paths crossed the rectangular field, forming a neat St Andrew's Cross of down-trodden grass.
The Collaborative International Dictionary


Neat \Neat\, a. [Compar. Neater; superl. Neatest.] [OE. nett, F. nett, fr. L. nitidus, fr. nitere to shine. Cf. Nitid, Net, a., Natty.]

  1. Free from that which soils, defiles, or disorders; clean; cleanly; tidy.

    If you were to see her, you would wonder what poor body it was that was so surprisingly neat and clean.

  2. Free from what is unbecoming, inappropriate, or tawdry; simple and becoming; pleasing with simplicity; tasteful; chaste; as, a neat style; a neat dress.

  3. Free from admixture or adulteration; good of its kind; as, neat brandy; to drink one's vodka neat. Hence: (Chem.) Pure; undiluted; as, dissolved in neat acetone. ``Our old wine neat.''

  4. Excellent in character, skill, or performance, etc.; nice; finished; adroit; as, a neat design; a neat thief.

  5. With all deductions or allowances made; net.

    Note: [In this sense usually written net. See Net, a., 3.]

    neat line (Civil Engin.), a line to which work is to be built or formed.

    Neat work, work built or formed to neat lines.

    Syn: Nice; pure; cleanly; tidy; trim; spruce.


Neat \Neat\ (n[=e]t), n. sing. & pl. [AS. ne['a]t; akin to OHG. n[=o]z, Icel. naut, Sw. n["o]t, Dan. n["o]d, and to AS. ne['o]tan to make use of, G. geniessen, Goth. niutan to have a share in, have joy of, Lith. nauda use, profit.] (Zo["o]l.) Cattle of the genus Bos, as distinguished from horses, sheep, and goats; an animal of the genus Bos; as, a neat's tongue; a neat's foot.

Wherein the herds[men] were keeping of their neat.

The steer, the heifer, and the calf Are all called neat.

A neat and a sheep of his own.

Neat's-foot, an oil obtained by boiling the feet of neat cattle. It is used to render leather soft and pliable.


Neat \Neat\, a. [See neat, n.] Of or pertaining to the genus Bos, or to cattle of that genus; as, neat cattle.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary


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" (cognates: Middle Irish niam "gleam, splendor," niamda "shining;" Old Irish noib "holy," niab "strength;" Welsh nwyfiant "gleam, splendor").\n

\nMeaning "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" (cognates: Old Frisian nat, Middle Dutch noot, Old High German noz, Old Norse naut), from PIE root *neud- "to make use of, enjoy."



Neat may refer to:

  • Neat (bartending), a single, unmixed liquor served in a rocks glass
  • Cattle, singular or plural
    • Neat, an old term for an individual animal of the species of cattle Bos taurus
  • Neat (TV series), a Canadian television series
  • Neat Records, a British record label

Neat (TV series)

Neat is a Canadian television series, which aired on HGTV in Canada and Discovery Home in the United States. Hosted by professional organizer Hellen Buttigieg, Neat is a home improvement series in which Buttigieg helps a person with cluttered living spaces devise solutions to help organize their lives and possessions more effectively. In America, the series is currently airing on ION Life.



  1. adj. clean or orderly; "her neat dress"; "a neat room"

  2. showing care in execution; "neat homework"; "neat handwriting"

  3. free from what is tawdry or unbecoming; "a neat style"; "a neat set of rules"; "she hated to have her neat plans upset" [syn: refined, tasteful]

  4. free from clumsiness; precisely or deftly executed; "he landed a clean left on his opponent's cheek"; "a clean throw"; "the neat exactness of the surgeon's knife" [syn: clean]

  5. very good; "he did a bully job"; "a neat sports car"; "had a great time at the party"; "you look simply smashing" [syn: bang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great, groovy, keen, nifty, not bad(p), peachy, slap-up, swell, smashing]

  6. without water; "took his whiskey neat" [syn: straight, full-strength]



Etymology 1 n. 1 (context archaic English) A bull or cow. 2 (context archaic English) Cattle collectively. Etymology 2

a. clean, tidy; free from dirt or impurities. n. (cx informal English) An artificial intelligence researcher who believes that solutions should be elegant, clear and provably correct. Compare (term scruffy English).

Usage examples of "neat".

There were several women delegates and Ken made the most of their ablutions until he was distracted by the appearance of Karanja in a neat grey suit, an ingratiating grin on his face and his big ears standing out like sails.

As things turned out, he was always known as Metellus Scipio, a neat compromise to both blood and adoptive family.

So he went to his place and fell asleep and slept long, while the women went down to acre and meadow, or saw to the baking of bread or the sewing of garments, or went far afield to tend the neat and the sheep.

I was so pleased with this neat and simple control that we have employed it for several other of the key steps in the cascade - finding, for instance, that the increase in dendritic spines occurs only in a remembering and not in an amnesic group.

This is a much neater place than the last, but the people look stupid and apathetic, and I wonder what they think of the men who have abolished the daimiyo and the feudal regime, have raised the eta to citizenship, and are hurrying the empire forward on the tracks of western civilisation!

Tycho was an argumentative soul who, once, in a duel, had the end of his nose snipped off, and thereafter always had to appear in public with a neat silver tip glinting in the light.

They had never before had a chance to look into the armoury, but now at a glance Hal saw that it was all laid out in a neat and orderly fashion.

And I saw Astel in those eyes, laughing at me, and Tacit in those eyes, proclaiming that he, not I, was the hero, and I saw the contempt of the knights, the sneers of the squires, the disdain of Stroker, everyone, all encapsulated in this one neat package.

I saw Astel in those eyes, laughing at me, and Tacit in those eyes, proclaiming that he, not I, was the hero, and I saw the contempt of the knights, the sneers of the squires, the disdain of Stroker, everyone, all encapsulated in this one neat package.

He came to Auer and executed a neat, military right-face, hoping to make his getaway before the guy in the pickup realized he was gone.

For the first time in three years neat tubes of aureomycin ointment for udder sores were neatly stacked in the old space on the shelf.

Rice, Currants, Sugar, Prunes, Cynamon, Ginger, Pepper, Cloves, Green Ginger, Oil, Butter, Holland cheese or old Cheese, Wine-Vinegar, Canarie-Sack, Aqua-vitae, the best Wines, the best Waters, the juyce of Limons for the scurvy, white Bisket, Oatmeal, Gammons of Bacons, dried Neats tongues, Beef packed up in Vineger, Legs of Mutton minced and stewed, and close packed up, with tried Sewet or Butter in earthen Pots.

Wines, the best Waters, the juyce of Limons for the scurvy, white Bisket, Oatmeal, Gammons of Bacons, dried Neats tongues, Beef packed up in Vineger, Legs of Mutton minced and stewed, and close packed up, with tried Sewet or Butter in earthen Pots.

A garnet brooch deftly unclipped from the bombasine blouse worn by a nanny earned a gaol term or transportion no different to the neatest unclipping of a diamond pin from the silk bodice of a duchess.

Either Bonaventure was a neat freak or he had sanitized the place before my arrival.