neat

neat
neat, tidy, trim, trig, snug, shipshape, spick-and-span mean manifesting care and orderliness.
Neat through all its variations in sense keeps as its basic implication clearness, such as the clearness from dirt or soil that is manifest chiefly in perfect cleanliness
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her house is as neat as a pin

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the cat is the neatest of domestic animals

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he was remarkably neat in his dress— Johnson

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it was a neat place, with its piles of magazines and newspapers stacked in orderly fashion— Maclnnes

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or the clearness that is indicated in simplicity and freedom from what clutters, complicates, or confuses or that indicates orderliness, deftness, or adroitness
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neat workmanship

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a neat style

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neat minds, who prefer things in their proper places, ticketed and pigeonholed— Dixon

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a neat retort

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Tidy commonly suggests a pleasing neatness and order diligently maintained
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he's always tidy without being smart; his coat is old and his trousers are uncreased, but they're both clean, and nothing's loose or torn— Richard Harrison

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As distinguished from neat, tidy throws the stress on orderliness, careful arrangement, or a place for everything, rather than on cleanliness or simplicity
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a tidy desk

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a tidy sewing basket

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once upon a time the universe was all tidy, with everything in its proper place, and . . . ever since then it has been growing more and more disorderly— Russell

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they have an unfailing instinct for doing things in a tidy way—their busy airports handle passengers with remarkable smoothness— Rolo

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Trim implies both neatness and tidiness; it stresses, however, such smartness or spruceness in appearance as is given by clean lines and excellent proportions
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a trim clipper ship

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a trim figure

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his shoes and buckles, too, though plain, were trimDickens

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a crisscross of trim . . . paths— Lowes

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Trig, though close to trim, tends to carry a stronger implication of compactness, of neatness, and of jauntiness of appearance and is especially applicable to persons or their clothes
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she has a trig new tailored suit

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his hair was hardly even gray, and he stood as straight and trig as a fence post— Hersey

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a wonderfully trig beret, wide and flat— New Yorker

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Snug (see also COMFORTABLE) in the present relation applies basically to ships and suggests a fine trimness of line and construction
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a snug little ship

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or adequate and orderly preparation for a voyage and especially for riding out a storm
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soon all was snug aloft, and we were allowed to go below— Dana

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In other applications the term may imply a neat, compact, ordered state that affords security or sheltered ease
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everything on this snug property was bright, thriving, and well kept— Hardy

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snug little shops that once offered Cornhill the best soups and jellies— West

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Shipshape is often used in place of snug to describe not only ships where tidiness and trimness prevail but whatever depends for its success or well-being upon habits of tidiness and orderliness
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his affairs are in shipshape condition

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look to the babes, and till I come again keep everything shipshapeTennyson

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everything from rifles to shoelaces got a complete going over. It was my job to see that all was perfect. Finally, I felt confident everything was shipshape—H. V. Kaltenborn

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Spick-and-span, which stresses the brightness and freshness of something new, is applicable also to what by care and cleanliness has been kept new in appearance or made to look like new
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spick-and-span white shoes

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the kitchen was spick-and-span) %spick-and-span machinery

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no spots came on his clothes. No slovenly habits crept upon him. He was always spick-and-spanWhite

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Analogous words: *clean, cleanly: fastidious, *nice, dainty, finicky: exact, precise, *correct, accurate
Antonyms: filthy
Contrasted words: unkempt, disheveled, slovenly, *slipshod, sloppy: slack, lax, remiss, *negligent: confused, muddled, addled (see CONFUSE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • neat — S2 [ni:t] adj comparative neater superlative neatest ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(tidy)¦ 2¦(liking things tidy)¦ 3¦(good)¦ 4¦(small)¦ 5¦(clever)¦ 6¦(drinks)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [Date: 1500 1600; : French; …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • neat — [ nit ] adjective ** ▸ 1 carefully arranged ▸ 2 simple but intelligent ▸ 3 good/nice ▸ 4 small and pleasing ▸ 5 drink: not mixed 1. ) carefully arranged and looking nice: His hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail. She arranged the papers into …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • 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. [1913 Webster] If you were to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Neat — may refer to: Neat (bartending), a single, unmixed liquor served in a rocks glass. An old word for an individual animal of the species of cattle Bos taurus Neat (TV series), a Canadian television series Neat Records, a British record label Cattle …   Wikipedia

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • neat — neat·en; neat·herd; neat; neat·ly; neat·ness; un·neat; …   English syllables

  • Neat — Neat, a. [See {neat}, n.] Of or pertaining to the genus {Bos}, or to cattle of that genus; as, neat cattle. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • NEAT — may stand for: Near Earth Asteroid Tracking, a program run by NASA and the JPL to discover near Earth objects Neuroevolution of augmenting topologies,a genetic algorithm for the generation of evolving artificial neural networks Neue Eisenbahn… …   Wikipedia

  • neat — neat1 [nēt] adj. [Fr net < L nitidus, shining, elegant, smart, trim < nitere, to shine < IE base * nei , to be active, shine > MIr nīam, luster, beauty] 1. unmixed with anything; undiluted; straight: said esp. of liquor drunk without… …   English World dictionary

  • neat — [adj1] arranged well, uncluttered accurate, apple pie order*, chic*, correct, dainty, dapper, elegant, exact, fastidious, finical, finicky, immaculate, in good order, in good shape, methodical, natty, neat as a pin*, nice, orderly, precise, prim …   New thesaurus

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