Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


It was neater and better kept than the majority of the huts of the peasants.

It certainly looked like one; no compliment could be neater.

"Couldn't be any neater or more comfortable," judged Nan with satisfaction.

Nothing can be neater and cleaner than the whole system of curing the fish!

Jeanne was neater and prettier than I had ever expected to see her.

The pipes would be nicer and neater, too, than the brick flue, uncle.

A gardener with clippers could not have made a neater job of it.

It might have been that the fact that he was neater and better dressed operated in his favor.

If we'd fixed the thing up between us it couldn't have been any neater, could it?

At last he selected one neater and prettier than the rest, containing a linnet.


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

Meaning "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.