(plural neats or neat)
- (archaic) A bull or cow.
- (archaic) Cattle collectively.
From Middle English nete, neat, from Old English nÄ“at (“animal, beast, ox, cow, cattle"), from Proto-Germanic *nautÄ… (“foredeal, profit, property, livestock"), from Proto-Indo-European *newd- (“to acquire, make use of"). Cognate with Dutch noot (“cow, cattle", in compounds), dialectal German NoÃŸ (“livestock"), Swiss German Nooss (“young sheep or goat"), Swedish nÃ¶t (“cattle"), Icelandic naut (“cattle"). More at note.
(comparative neater, superlative neatest)
- Clean, tidy; free from dirt or impurities.
- My room is neat because I tidied it this morning.
- She has very neat hair.
- Free from contaminants; unadulterated, undiluted. Particularly of liquor and cocktails; see usage below.
- I like my whisky neat.
- (chemistry) Conditions with a liquid reagent or gas performed with no standard solvent or cosolvent
- The Arbuzov reaction is performed by adding the bromide to the phosphite, neat.
- The molecular beam was neat acetylene.
- (archaic) With all deductions or allowances made; net.
- Having a simple elegance or style; clean, trim, tidy, tasteful.
- The front room was neat and carefully arranged for the guests.
- Well-executed or delivered; clever, skillful, precise.
- Having the two protagonists meet in the last act was a particularly neat touch.
- (colloquial) Good, excellent, desirable.
- Hey, neat convertible, man.
- (undiluted liquor or cocktail): on the rocks
In bartending, neat has the formal meaning “a liquor pour straight from the bottle into a glass, at room temperature, without ice or chilling". This is contrasted with on the rocks (“over ice"), and with drinks that are chilled but strained (stirred over ice to chill, but poured through a strainer so that there is no ice in the glass), which is formally referred to as up. However, the terminology is a point of significant confusion, with neat, up, straight up, and straight being used by bar patrons (some bartenders) variously and ambiguously to mean either “unchilled" or “chilled" (but without ice in the glass), and hence clarification is often required.
From Middle English *nete, net, nette (> Modern net "good, clean"), from Anglo-Norman neit (“good, desireable, clean"), apparently a conflation of Old French net, nette ("clean, clear, pure"; from Latin nitidus (“gleaming"), from niteÅ (“I shine")) and Middle English *neit, nait ("in good order, trim, useful, dextrous"; from Old Norse neytr (“fit for use, in good order"), from Proto-Germanic *nautiz (“useful, helpful")). See nait.