Net (device)

A cargo net being used to unload sacks from a ship at Haikou New Port, Haikou City, Hainan, China

A net, in its primary meaning, comprises fibers woven in a grid-like structure. It blocks the passage of large items, while letting small items and fluids pass. It requires less material than something sheet-like, and provides a degree of transparency. Examples include cargo nets, fishing nets, butterfly nets, cricket nets, bird netting or nets used in sporting goals in games such as soccer, basketball, Bossaball and ice hockey. A net also separates opponents in various net sports such as volleyball, tennis, badminton, and table tennis, where the ball or shuttlecock must go over the net to remain in play. Nets have been in use since primitive times, and the weaving of nets may be a precedent to basket weaving.[1]

The adjectives reticulated and retiary both mean "net-like". Animal species such as the reticulated giraffe and reticulated python have net-like body markings. When a hole is ripped in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than before the net was ripped.

Most of the other meanings of the term arise by analogy with the use above, see net.


  1. Richard Jamison, Linda Jamison, Primitive Skills and Crafts: An Outdoorsman's Guide to Shelters, Tools, Weapons, Tracking, Survival, and More (2007).

See also

Look up net in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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