Main definitions of neat in US English:

: neat1neat2NEAT3

neat1

adjective

  • 1(of a place or thing) arranged in an orderly, tidy way.

    ‘the books had been stacked up in neat piles’
    • ‘Shirt upon shirt, all stacked in neat piles - had they been ironed?’
    • ‘Choosing one, he stepped inside a little room almost militarily neat, and masculine in aura.’
    • ‘Many thanks to everyone who came out to help keep all areas around the river so neat and tidy.’
    • ‘As he began shuffling his papers so they were neat and organized, whispers began to fly around the class.’
    • ‘It was just how I left it, neat and tidy; everything was in perfect order.’
    • ‘Several long and narrow tables were arranged in neat rows, teachers scouting the premises between them.’
    • ‘We travel down from Newcastle and Durban twice a year in order to keep the graves neat and tidy.’
    • ‘And when the City asked them to leave the sidewalk outside, they asked for an extra allotment of time, in order to be able to leave the site as neat and tidy as they found it.’
    • ‘She absent-mindedly made a neat pile of the scattered magazines on the coffee table.’
    • ‘"Wow, your room is so neat, " Hannah said.’
    • ‘There were three chairs arranged in a neat semi-circle, with a coffee table in the center.’
    • ‘"Over the years the residents have made a great effort to keep the estate very neat and tidy.’
    • ‘Zack opened the door to his room and Ana looked around, he kept everything so neat.’
    • ‘In Mexico, the tops of the wooden posts are cut off at the same level, creating very neat and tidy fences.’
    • ‘The sergeant counted the money onto the kitchen table, note by note, arranging it in neat piles.’
    • ‘Everything about the room was neat and orderly.’
    • ‘In fact, salt crystals are formed by the very neat and orderly arrangement of alternating sodium and chloride ions.’
    • ‘The place is neat and tidy with not a weed in sight.’
    • ‘Megan laughed, " Ya know, you should thank me for keeping my locker so neat.’
    • ‘A key feature of the farm is the farmhouse and farmyard which is well laid out and always maintained in a very neat and tidy fashion.’
    • ‘The village was neat, with tidy little houses, arranged along three roads leading out from this castle.’
    tidy, neat and tidy, as neat as a new pin, orderly, well ordered, in order, in good order, well kept, shipshape, shipshape and bristol fashion, in apple-pie order, immaculate, spick and span, uncluttered, straight, trim, spruce
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) habitually tidy, well groomed, or well organized.
      ‘her daughter was always neat and clean’
      • ‘There is nothing wrong with being a slob until you start complaining all the time that you wish you were neat and organized.’
      • ‘Now, yes, he's neat and clean, but I don't think that's a fault.’
      • ‘Aberdeen gave the ball away far too often to be able to mount any sustained pressure, whilst the visitors were neat and tidy in their play.’
      • ‘Obsessively neat people should not consider owning companion birds.’
      • ‘Walking down the aisle, looking impeccably neat in his uniform was Bob.’
      • ‘But I know many children of less than neat parents who rebel by aggressively keeping house.’
      • ‘Or again, he was an amazingly neat gardener, one might almost say a perfectionist.’
      • ‘Madge herself is immaculate - a tiny, neat woman whom grief has made two-dimensional.’
      • ‘He was extremely neat and tidy around the place and took a gentle pride in maintaining the place so well.’
      • ‘But unless you're particularly neat and tidy, they can soon end up rolling around the floor, or getting sat on by a passenger.’
      • ‘I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it.’
      • ‘And doesn't such an organized and neat man deserve to be indicted just for making us all look bad?’
      • ‘There were clothes everywhere and that was unusual seeing as she was a very neat person.’
      • ‘I an a very neat person, and I don't want you to see my place in a state.’
      • ‘Not to say that we weren't neat and polite at the table.’
      • ‘Maybe she was just a neat person, and it was a summer assignment, and she wanted everything to be organized, so she had tucked it away.’
      • ‘I can get my daughter to clean her room by setting up comparison/competition images with her neat friend, Amanda.’
      • ‘He was neat and dapper when I saw him in 1995 in Kansas City, where he was filming the movie of that name.’
      • ‘She's neat, serious and always over-prepared; he's a jokey slob who flies by the seat of his rumpled pants.’
      • ‘She's neat, organised, intelligent, motivated, good natured and talented across all arenas.’
      smart, spruce, dapper, trim, well groomed, well turned out, besuited
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    2. 1.2 Having a pleasing shape or appearance; well formed or regular.
      ‘Alan noted down the orders in his neat, precise script’
      • ‘She is in her early twenties, but serious, tiny, and very neat in appearance.’
      • ‘"Real men don't have hair that neat, " one radio journalist said.’
      • ‘Look out for a pair of neat black or grey flannel trousers or a pencil or A-line skirt.’
      • ‘The words " For Cecil " were written in extremely neat handwriting on it.’
      • ‘Not only did these materials present a neat appearance, but their flexibility allowed them to be used around curvilinear and geometric beds.’
      • ‘Val was a good lawman but not exactly noted for his neat appearance nor his generosity with his money.’
      • ‘These wooden storage drawers provide a neat appearance and are more functional than an entry table.’
      • ‘However, for gardeners who prefer rather more order in their garden, this type of cotoneaster is perfect for training into a neat fan shape.’
      • ‘She wore a simple, neat white robe with blue trim and sleeves so broad they looked like wings.’
      • ‘Simple and neat choreography seemed to be Sushmita's motto for the jatis and the dancers executed her vision with clarity.’
      • ‘Woven garments, such as shirts and trousers, should be folded along their natural creases to maintain a neat appearance.’
      • ‘Ancient runes were patterned in neat, flowing script, words that had not been read in many years.’
      • ‘The quality of the photography is complemented by a simple, neat site design which does an exemplary job of displaying the collection cleanly and quickly.’
      • ‘I recognized my mothers abnormally neat handwriting at once and I began to read.’
      • ‘There, scrawled in Dylan's somehow neat handwriting, is a single word.’
      • ‘The Virgo style is neat, discreet, simple, conservative and under-stated.’
      • ‘This will give the neat, crisp, appearance that the standard combat uniform is expected to have.’
      • ‘The center console is neat and simple, stressing a less-is-more minimalism.’
      • ‘He has finally, it seems, sorted out his blog format, and everything looks fabulously neat and tidy.’
      • ‘It suggested a forger might have selected a relatively smooth area of the back as a place to carve the small, neat characters.’
      • ‘I picked up my little card. ‘Miss Amber Sutton’ it said in neat, cursive silver letters.’
      • ‘The other two were written in the same neat script.’
      • ‘This autumn the emphasis is on neat, elegant tailoring and waist-cinched silhouettes.’
      well formed, regular, precise, crisp, clean-cut, elegant, well proportioned, simple, unadorned, unornamented
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  • 2Done with or demonstrating skill or efficiency.

    ‘Howard's neat, precise tackling’
    • ‘This was a neat bit of satire, making the impossibility of the situation immediately obvious.’
    • ‘Perhaps there is some neat technical solution, though as yet that doesn't seem to be the case.’
    • ‘Calderon, an attacking midfielder, displayed some neat touches and demonstrated a willingness to run at defenders.’
    • ‘I thought it was a neat bit of conscious self-reference.’
    • ‘The look was relaxed, and the illusion hemlines, also achieved with stripes and shiny fabrics, were a neat way to make clothes appear longer.’
    • ‘‘It is a very neat, environmentally-friendly solution,’ says Dr Reeder.’
    • ‘Folding them together was a pretty neat trick, and it has been done without a wrinkle or seam showing.’
    • ‘Some common-sense solutions, and neat statistics, are found within the paper.’
    • ‘This one is as neat a demonstration of the Arthurian cycle as any book in the Clarke canon, and as stimulating.’
    • ‘I'm sure that I could never have written such a neat bit of syntactical plotting.’
    • ‘The sampling trick is very neat, and does appear magical even after you see the proof.’
    • ‘At the moment we don't have a neat solution to the problem and it really is stretching staff and eroding morale.’
    • ‘It's a neat bit of arithmetic - one beach for each day of the year - but has anyone actually counted them?’
    • ‘Admittedly, it is a rather neat effect to use, but not when it appears on nearly every track.’
    • ‘Now if that seems like a pretty neat trick, be warned.’
    • ‘All in all, it was a neat move: In order to teach us to value our imaginations, he always let us know what was imaginary and what was not.’
    • ‘If you're determined to see both of those realities as a problem, you can turn to science to provide you with what you'll probably consider a relatively neat solution to the first.’
    • ‘So a neat solution is to put an inexpensive hard drive into the printer to receive the print job and keep these large files off the network.’
    • ‘The economist who raised the subject has found a neat solution to all these problems.’
    • ‘The Government came up, through the ministry, with a very neat solution.’
    • ‘Justin made a neat recovery and with agile steps, he circled the demon, wrapping the silver thread around its throat.’
    • ‘But that's a pretty neat trick to pull that off, two different girls.’
    skilful, deft, dexterous, adroit, adept, expert, practised, accurate, precise, nimble, agile, graceful, stylish
    clever, ingenious, inventive, resourceful, good, apt, efficient
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    1. 2.1 Tending to disregard specifics for the sake of convenience; slick or facile.
      ‘this neat division does not take into account a host of associated factors’
      • ‘Despite a very beautiful closing shot, the ending was rather conventional and perhaps too neat - the family was reunited and harmony restored.’
      • ‘That's a problem, since Kerry does not conveniently fit into any neat political cubbyhole.’
      • ‘The authors also note that the public perception of crime appears to have ‘no neat relationship’ with the crime rate.’
      • ‘This is a problem that does not lend itself to neat political solutions, for all the righteous indignation inspired by rogue companies like Enron.’
      • ‘There's no honour and no nice neat solution in pretending otherwise.’
      • ‘This reveals the fact that the issues that apply to pre-contact cultures cannot be defined into any neat and efficient concept or word.’
      • ‘He measures pain and capacity to suffer in neat units and disregards old-fangled notions such as species or emotion.’
      • ‘With regard to gender, these associations meant that they appeared to resist neat definitions.’
      • ‘No doubt there's some truth to that, but it looks too neat.’
      • ‘Perhaps this is a subtle statement on the unglamorous reality of commercialised sex, but the witty script resists such neat categorisations.’
      • ‘This historical framework keeps things pretty clear, although its neat divisions, both chronological and thematic are more imagined than real.’
      • ‘You seem to have moved from a neat engineer's view of the world to a view which accepts and celebrates the complexity out there.’
      • ‘The book does not offer easy answers or neat endings.’
      • ‘As we can see now, musical evolution doesn't conform conveniently to neat historical divisions of style and chronology; boundaries are regularly blurred.’
      • ‘It's not necessarily all that neat and simple, is it?’
      • ‘But just because the Jungian interpretation is neat & tidy and easy to swallow, doesn't necessarily mean it's accurate.’
      • ‘Like most three-part sermons, Delbanco's division is a bit too neat.’
      • ‘He instilled in me a desire for clarity, but also a suspicion of neat solutions because, he felt, posing problems was more interesting than solving them.’
      • ‘The medieval holy wars in the Middle East could not be solved by rational treatises or neat territorial solutions.’
      • ‘We prefer to live in a neat moral universe, and so we simplify, even to ourselves.’
  • 3(of liquid, especially liquor) not diluted or mixed with anything else.

    ‘he drank neat Scotch’
    • ‘And I followed that with a large shot of neat single malt whisky.’
    • ‘The Raki is like Ouzo or Ricard (try it neat as well as with water) and goes well with the food.’
    • ‘Among tequila connoisseurs, the best anejo tequilas rank with the finest cognacs and are often consumed neat from a snifter.’
    • ‘So after you serve a Martini or Scotch, neat, return moments later with a glass of water.’
    • ‘Sponge the woolly bits with neat washing-up liquid, suggests a reader who says her father used to deal with greenfly on his roses in this way.’
    • ‘These kids are not just drinking little cans of beer - they are drinking bottles of vodka, neat.’
    • ‘To relieve the irritation of an insect bite itch, apply neat apple cider vinegar to the itchy spot, or add 500 ml of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soak in it.’
    • ‘But when it comes to adult conversation and emotional and practical support, emailing two old friends is like drinking lemonade when what you really need is a neat whisky.’
    • ‘For persistent cases, paint with neat lavender oil.’
    • ‘He also points to a fondness for strong drink taken neat; whisky and vodka rather than English ale or Irish stout.’
    • ‘Drink them neat or drink them with lots of water.’
    • ‘Try some of these - but drink them neat.’
    • ‘Next week - Tara parachutes into a Siberian bear-trappers get-together, joining them all for a quick drink of three pints of neat vodka.’
    • ‘It was 7pm and the night was still young, yet the three people sitting next to me were so keen to get their evening started that they were already each drinking from their own litre bottle of neat vodka.’
    • ‘The young lad behind the bar poured him half a pint of neat whiskey!’
    • ‘Put five drops of the neat oil on a dry, cold compress and cover the burn.’
    • ‘We'd still end up drinking neat vodka and dancing on the table at four in the morning, but I couldn't shake off the suspicion that they had moved off towards adulthood without me.’
    • ‘The meal is a full Russian spread, and in between the different courses shots of neat vodka are served.’
    • ‘Lace half a bottle of neat spirits with a powerful horse laxative and leave it in the glove box or a prominent place in your home.’
    • ‘This is where Dylan Thomas drank 18 neat whiskies, his last.’
    • ‘And you could never drink it neat unless you wanted to burn a hole in the lining of your stomach.’
    • ‘Put a few drops of neat tea tree oil in a bowl of hot water, stick a towel over your head and breathe deeply for a few minutes.’
    undiluted, straight, unmixed, unadulterated, unblended, pure, uncut
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  • 4North American informal Very good or pleasant; excellent.

    ‘it was really neat seeing the city’
    • ‘There are lots of little shops that have really neat stuff in them.’
    • ‘Everyone was kind of reeling at the neologism but for me it sounded neat.’
    • ‘Incidentally, the Donna Summer homepage is really neat, albeit horrendously designed.’
    • ‘I thought all the neat people lived inside the internet.’
    • ‘One of the really neat things about conventional wisdom is that sometimes it's true.’
    • ‘She is a neat lady and I feel lucky to have her as a friend.’
    • ‘What a great skill to have and what a neat idea that it's been revived!’
    • ‘And I know, lots of neat people meet on dating services.’
    • ‘Yet, it's neat to see if I can try to pick up any Japanese.’
    • ‘I think Wink is a very cool place and our technology is really neat.’
    • ‘And you know what is neat, Lou, so far it appears to be working.’
    • ‘Then realize that there are lots of other really neat guys out there, and someday you might love one of them instead.’
    • ‘"I know, but I thought it would sound neat, " Moe mumbled.’
    • ‘How fortunate we are to be in the center of the exciting geometric growth of this new industry, with such neat people sharing the experience.’
    • ‘They're both really neat people - I'm pleased to have made a connection there, and I hope we keep in touch.’
    • ‘But it is kind of neat to see how my style had developed over time!’
    • ‘But don't take that to mean that I'm busy all the time - I'm keen as ever to see as many neat people as possible.’
    • ‘So, I invited this really neat guy whom I've been dating for the past three months.’
    • ‘My mother and Lindsey have this really neat relationship.’
    excellent, very good, superb, outstanding, magnificent, of high quality, of the highest quality, of the highest standard, exceptional, marvellous, wonderful, sublime, perfect, eminent, pre-eminent, matchless, peerless, supreme, first-rate, first-class, superior, superlative, splendid, admirable, worthy, sterling, fine
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century (in the sense ‘clean, free from impurities’): from French net, from Latin nitidus ‘shining’, from nitere ‘to shine’; related to net. The sense ‘bright’ (now obsolete) was recorded in English in the late 16th century.

Pronunciation

neat

/nēt//nit/

Main definitions of neat in US English:

: neat1neat2NEAT3

neat2

noun

archaic
  • 1A bovine animal.

    • ‘"as proper a man as ever trod upon neat's leather" [Julius Caesar, Scene 1]’
    • ‘I had a pretty dinner for them, viz. a brace of stewed carp, six roast chickens and a jowl of hot salmon for the first course; a tanzy and two neats' tongues and cheese second.’
    1. 1.1 Cattle.

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch noot, also to the base of dialect nait meaning ‘companion’.

Pronunciation

neat

/nit//nēt/

Main definitions of neat in US English:

: neat1neat2NEAT3

NEAT3

abbreviation

  • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (the energy expended during normal daily activity rather than through an exercise program).

    • ‘The new study measured the NEAT levels of 20 self-proclaimed couch potatoes, half of whom were obese.’
    • ‘The researchers believe the discovery of the strong effects of NEAT on obesity could make a big difference in helping people beat the condition.’
    • ‘The researchers have termed this type of movement NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and estimate that it zaps an additional 300 to 800 calories a day.’
    • ‘"Unlike running a marathon, NEAT is within the reach of everyone."’
    • ‘Low NEAT, he says, most likely reflects genetic differences, because his study showed that even after obese people lose weight, they are still inclined to sit for the same amount of time.’

Pronunciation

NEAT

/nit//nēt/