Ask Difference

Net vs. Screen — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 28, 2023
A net is a meshed fabric or structure used to catch or protect, while a screen is a flat panel or surface used for displaying images or shielding.
Net vs. Screen — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Net and Screen

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Key Differences

A net is typically a woven or meshed structure made of intertwined threads, ropes, or wires. Its primary function is often to catch, hold, or protect objects. On the other hand, a screen, in many contexts, is a flat surface or panel that displays images or provides information.
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In terms of material, nets are generally flexible and can be made of materials like nylon, cotton, or metal. They are used in various scenarios, from fishing to sports. Screens, however, are typically rigid and can be made of glass, plastic, or fabric. They are used in devices like televisions, computers, or as barriers.
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The concept of a net is also prevalent in the digital realm. In this context, "net" can refer to networks, like the internet. A screen in the digital context, however, still refers to the display component of electronic devices where visuals or information is shown.
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Nets often have a more physical and tangible utility, such as in sports where a tennis net divides the court or a soccer net captures the ball. Screens have a dual utility: they can serve a physical purpose, like a window screen preventing bugs from entering, or a digital purpose, displaying data.
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While both nets and screens can serve protective functions, they do so in different manners. A net might protect by catching or enclosing, while a screen might protect by shielding or blocking.
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Oct 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Material

Typically made of intertwined threads or wires.
Often made of glass, plastic, or fabric.
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Function

Used to catch, hold, or protect objects.
Displays images or provides protection.
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Context

Can refer to a physical structure or a network.
Refers to a display component or a protective barrier
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Flexibility

Generally flexible.
Typically rigid.
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Digital Realm

Can refer to networks like the internet.
Always refers to the display part of a device.
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Compare with Definitions

Net

A means of trapping or ensnaring.
She spread out a net of rumors to catch the truth.
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Screen

A flat panel displaying images or information.
She watched the movie on a large screen.
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Net

An interconnected group or system.
The net of railways connected the entire country.
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Screen

A protective or concealing barrier.
The window screen kept the mosquitoes out.
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Net

A piece of open-meshed material made of twine, cord, or something similar, used typically for catching fish or other animals
Fishermen mending their nets
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Screen

A sieve or strainer for separating lumps from powdered material.
She used a screen to sift the flour.
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Net

A structure consisting of a net supported on a frame, forming the goal in games such as soccer and hockey
He turned Wilson's cross into the net
Wales did find the net in the 32nd minute
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Screen

A partition providing privacy.
The screen in the restaurant allowed for private dining.
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Net

A fine fabric with a very open weave
Net curtains
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Screen

A movable device, especially a framed construction such as a room divider or a decorative panel, designed to divide, conceal, or protect.
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Net

A means of catching someone; a trap
The search was delayed, allowing the murderers to escape the net
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Screen

One that serves to protect, conceal, or divide
Security guards formed a screen around the president. A screen of evergreens afforded privacy from our neighbors.
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Net

A communications or broadcasting network, especially of maritime radio
The radio net was brought to life with a mayday
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Screen

A surface, as on a smartphone, television, or computer monitor, on which one can read and view electronically displayed information and images.
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Net

Catch (a fish or other animal) with a net
Damage caused when netting the fish
Rabbits can be netted all the year round
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Screen

A surface on which text and images are projected for display.
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Net

(in sport) hit (a ball) into the net; score (a goal)
Butler netted 14 goals
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Screen

The medium in which movies are shown
A star of stage and screen.
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Net

Cover with a net
We fenced off a rabbit-proof area for vegetables and netted the top
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Screen

A coarse sieve used for sifting out fine particles, as of sand, gravel, or coal.
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Net

Acquire (a sum of money) as clear profit
He netted £2.45 million on the deal
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Screen

A system for preliminary appraisal and selection of personnel as to their suitability for particular jobs.
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Net

(of an amount, value, or price) remaining after the deduction of tax or other contributions
Net earnings per share rose
The camera will cost you, net of VAT, about £300
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Screen

A window or door insertion of framed wire or plastic mesh used to keep out insects and permit air flow.
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Net

Remaining after all factors have been taken into account; overall
The net result is the same
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Screen

A body of troops or ships sent in advance of or surrounding a larger body to protect or warn of attack.
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Net

An openwork fabric made of threads or cords that are woven or knotted together at regular intervals.
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Screen

(Sports) A block, set with the body, that impedes the vision or movement of an opponent.
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Net

A device for capturing birds, fish, or insects.
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Screen

(Football) A screen pass.
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Net

A barrier against flying insects.
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Screen

To show or project (a movie, for example) on a screen.
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Net

A mesh for holding the hair in place.
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Screen

To conceal from view with a screen or something that acts like a screen
"Only a narrow line of brush and saplings screened the broad vista of the marsh" (David M. Carroll).
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Net

Something that entraps; a snare.
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Screen

To protect, guard, or shield
"This rose is screened from the wind with burlap" (Anne Raver).
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Net

A fine mesh fabric used as curtain or dress material or as the foundation for various laces.
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Screen

To provide with a screen or screens
Screen a porch.
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Net

A barrier of meshwork cord or rope strung between two posts to divide a court in half, as in tennis and badminton.
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Screen

To separate or sift out (fine particles of sand, for example) by means of a sieve or screen.
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Net

A ball that is hit into this meshwork barrier.
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Screen

To sort through and eliminate unwanted examples of (something)
A filter that screens email, preventing spam from reaching the inbox.
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Net

The goal in soccer, hockey, and lacrosse.
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Screen

To examine (a job applicant, for example) systematically in order to determine suitability.
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Net

The cord meshwork attached to the hoop of a basket in basketball.
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Screen

To test or evaluate (a student) to determine placement in an educational system or to identify specific learning needs.
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Net

A meshed network of lines, figures, or fibers.
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Screen

To test or examine for the presence of disease or infection
Screen blood.
Screen a patient.
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Net

Or Net The internet.
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Screen

To subject to genetic screening.
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Net

See network.
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Screen

To block the vision or movement of (an opponent) with the body.
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Net

A radio, television, or telephone network.
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Screen

To obscure an opponent's view of (a shot) by positioning oneself between the opponent and the shooter.
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Net

(Business) A net amount, as of profit or weight.
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Screen

A physical divider intended to block an area from view, or provide shelter from something dangerous.
A fire screen
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Net

The main point; the essence
The net of our discussion.
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Screen

A material woven from fine wires intended to block animals or large particles from passing while allowing gasses, liquids and finer particles to pass.
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Net

To catch or ensnare in a net
Net fish.
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Screen

A frame supporting a mesh of bars or wires used to classify fragments of stone by size, allowing the passage of fragments whose a diameter is smaller than the distance between the bars or wires.
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Net

To acquire or obtain
An investment that netted a hefty profit.
A personal ad that netted a dozen responses.
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Screen

(baseball) The protective netting which protects the audience from flying objects
Jones caught the foul up against the screen.
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Net

To cover, protect, or surround with a net or network
"The heart [is] netted with a maze of curving blood vessels that send blood through it in swirling patterns" (Jennifer Ackerman).
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Screen

(printing) A stencil upon a framed mesh through which paint is forced onto printed-on material; the frame with the mesh itself.
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Net

To hit (the ball) into the net, as in volleyball.
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Screen

(by analogy) Searching through a sample for a target; an act of screening
A drug screen, a genetic screen
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Net

To shoot (the ball or puck) into the goal, as in soccer or hockey.
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Screen

(genetics) A technique used to identify genes so as to study gene functions.
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Net

To score (a goal).
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Screen

Various forms or formats of information display
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Net

To bring in or yield as profit.
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Screen

The viewing surface or area of a movie, or moving picture or slide presentation.
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Net

To clear as profit.
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Screen

The informational viewing area of electronic devices, where output is displayed.
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Net

Remaining after all deductions have been made, as for expenses
Net profit.
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Screen

One of the individual regions of a video game, etc. divided into separate screens.
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Net

Remaining after tare is deducted
Net weight.
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Screen

(computer) The visualised data or imagery displayed on a computer screen.
After you turn on the computer, the login screen appears.
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Net

Ultimate; final
The net result.
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Screen

(figurative) A disguise; concealment.
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Net

A mesh of string, cord or rope.
A hairnet; a mosquito net; a tennis net
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Screen

Definitions related to standing in the path of an opposing player
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Net

A device made from such mesh, used for catching fish, butterflies, etc.
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Screen

(American football) screen pass
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Net

A device made from such mesh, generally used for trapping something.
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Screen

(basketball) An offensive tactic in which a player stands so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
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Net

Anything that has the appearance of such a device.
Petri net
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Screen

(cricket) An erection of white canvas or wood placed on the boundary opposite a batsman to make the ball more easily visible.
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Net

(by extension) A trap.
Caught in the prosecuting attorney's net
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Screen

(nautical) A collection of less-valuable vessels that travel with a more valuable one for the latter's protection.
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Net

(geometry) Of a polyhedron, any set of polygons joined edge to edge that, when folded along the edges between adjoining polygons so that the outer edges touch, form the polyhedron.
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Screen

(architecture) A dwarf wall or partition carried up to a certain height for separation and protection, as in a church, to separate the aisle from the choir, etc.
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Net

A system that interconnects a number of users, locations etc. allowing transport or communication between them.
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Screen

A large scarf.
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Net

(electronics) A conductor that interconnects two or more component terminals.
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Screen

To filter by passing through a screen.
Mary screened the beans to remove the clumps of gravel.
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Net

(sports) A framework backed by a mesh, serving as the goal in hockey, soccer, lacrosse, etc.
The striker headed the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
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Screen

To shelter or conceal.
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Net

A mesh stretched to divide the court in tennis, badminton, volleyball, etc.
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Screen

To remove information, or censor intellectual material from viewing. To hide the facts.
The news report was screened because it accused the politician of wrongdoing.
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Net

The area of the court close to the net (mesh stretched to divide the court).
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Screen

To present publicly (on the screen).
The news report will be screened at 11:00 tonight.
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Net

The amount remaining after expenses are deducted; profit.
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Screen

To fit with a screen.
We need to screen this porch. These bugs are driving me crazy.
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Net

(transitive) To catch by means of a net.
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Screen

(medicine) To examine patients or treat a sample in order to detect a chemical or a disease, or to assess susceptibility to a disease.
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Net

To catch in a trap, or by stratagem.
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Screen

(molecular biology) To search chemical libraries by means of a computational technique in order to identify chemical compounds which would potentially bind to a given biological target such as a protein.
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Net

To enclose or cover with a net.
To net a tree
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Screen

(basketball) To stand so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
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Net

To score (a goal).
Evans netted the winner in the 80th minute.
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Screen

To determine the source or subject matter of a call before deciding whether to answer the phone.
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Net

(tennis) To hit the ball into the net.
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Screen

Anything that separates or cuts off inconvenience, injury, or danger; that which shelters or conceals from view; a shield or protection; as, a fire screen.
Your leavy screens throw down.
Some ambitious men seem as screens to princes in matters of danger and envy.
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Net

To form a netting or network; to knit.
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Screen

A dwarf wall or partition carried up to a certain height for separation and protection, as in a church, to separate the aisle from the choir, or the like.
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Net

(transitive) To receive as profit.
The company nets $30 on every sale.
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Screen

A surface, as that afforded by a curtain, sheet, wall, etc., upon which an image, as a picture, is thrown by a magic lantern, solar microscope, etc.
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Net

(transitive) To yield as profit for.
The scam netted the criminals $30,000.
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Screen

A long, coarse riddle or sieve, sometimes a revolving perforated cylinder, used to separate the coarser from the finer parts, as of coal, sand, gravel, and the like.
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Net

To fully hedge a position.
Every party is netting their position with a counter-party
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Screen

An erection of white canvas or wood placed on the boundary opposite a batsman to enable him to see ball better.
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Net

(obsolete) Good, desirable; clean, decent, clear.
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Screen

A netting, usu. of metal, contained in a frame, used mostly in windows or doors to allow in fresh air while excluding insects.
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Net

Free from extraneous substances; pure; unadulterated; neat.
Net wine
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Screen

The surface of an electronic device, as a television set or computer monitor, on which a visible image is formed. The screen is frequently the surface of a cathode-ray tube containing phosphors excited by the electron beam, but other methods for causing an image to appear on the screen are also used, as in flat-panel displays.
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Net

Remaining after expenses or deductions.
Net profit; net weight
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Screen

The motion-picture industry; motion pictures.
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Net

Final; end.
Net result; net conclusion
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Screen

To provide with a shelter or means of concealment; to separate or cut off from inconvenience, injury, or danger; to shelter; to protect; to protect by hiding; to conceal; as, fruits screened from cold winds by a forest or hill.
They were encouraged and screened by some who were in high commands.
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Net

After expenses or deductions.
You'll have $5000 net.
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Screen

To pass, as coal, gravel, ashes, etc., through a screen in order to separate the coarse from the fine, or the worthless from the valuable; to sift.
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Net

A fabric of twine, thread, or the like, wrought or woven into meshes, and used for catching fish, birds, butterflies, etc.
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Screen

To examine a group of objects methodically, to separate them into groups or to select one or more for some purpose.
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Net

Anything designed or fitted to entrap or catch; a snare; any device for catching and holding.
A man that flattereth his neighbor spreadeth a net for his feet.
In the church's net there are fishes good or bad.
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Screen

A white or silvered surface where pictures can be projected for viewing
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Net

Anything wrought or woven in meshes; as, a net for the hair; a mosquito net; a tennis net.
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Screen

Something that keeps things out or hinders sight;
They had just moved in and had not put up blinds yet
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Net

A figure made up of a large number of straight lines or curves, which are connected at certain points and related to each other by some specified law.
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Screen

Display on the surface of the large end of a cathode-ray tube on which is electronically created
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Net

A network.
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Screen

A covering that serves to conceal or shelter something;
They crouched behind the screen
Under cover of darkness
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Net

The internet; - usually the net; as, I found it on the net.
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Screen

Protective covering consisting of a metallic netting mounted in a frame and covering windows or doors (especially for protection against insects)
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Net

To make into a net; to make in the style of network; as, to net silk.
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Screen

A strainer for separating lumps from powdered material or grading particles
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Net

To take in a net; to capture by stratagem or wile.
And now I am here, netted and in the toils.
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Screen

A door that is a screen to keep insects from entering a building through the open door;
He heard the screen slam as she left
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Net

To inclose or cover with a net; as, to net a tree.
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Screen

Partition consisting of a decorative frame or panel that serves to divide a space
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Net

To form network or netting; to knit.
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Screen

Test or examine for the presence of disease or infection;
Screen the blood for the HIV virus
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Net

To produce or gain as clear profit; as, he netted a thousand dollars by the operation.
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Screen

Examine methodically;
Screen the suitcases
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Net

Without spot; pure; shining.
Her breast all naked as net ivory.
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Screen

Examine in order to test suitability;
Screen these samples
Screen the job applicants
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Net

Free from extraneous substances; pure; unadulterated; neat; as, net wine, etc.
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Screen

Project onto a screen for viewing;
Screen a film
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Net

Not including superfluous, incidental, or foreign matter, as boxes, coverings, wraps, etc.; free from charges, deductions, etc; as, net profit; net income; net weight, etc.
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Screen

Prevent from entering;
Block out the strong sunlight
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Net

A computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that use the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and exchange
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Screen

Separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
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Net

A trap made of netting to catch fish or birds or insects
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Screen

Protect, hide, or conceal from danger or harm
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Net

The excess of revenues over outlays in a given period of time (including depreciation and other non-cash expenses)
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Screen

A process of evaluating or filtering.
The HR did a screen of all applicants.
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Net

A goal lined with netting (as in soccer or hockey)
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Net

Game equipment consisting of a strip of netting dividing the playing area in tennis or badminton
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Net

An open fabric of string or rope or wire woven together at regular intervals
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Net

Make as a net profit;
The company cleared $1 million
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Net

Yield as a net profit;
This sale netted me $1 million
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Net

Construct or form a web, as if by weaving
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Net

Catch with a net;
Net a fish
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Net

Remaining after all deductions;
Net profit
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Net

Conclusive in a process or progression;
The final answer
A last resort
The net result
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Net

A meshed fabric or structure used to catch or protect.
The fisherman cast his net into the sea.
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Net

The amount remaining after deductions.
His net income after taxes was substantial.
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Net

A goal structure in sports.
The soccer ball zoomed into the net.
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Common Curiosities

In financial terms, what does "net" refer to?

In finance, "net" refers to the amount remaining after deductions.
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What's the purpose of a screen in windows?

A window screen primarily prevents bugs from entering while allowing airflow.
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Is a cinema display referred to as a screen?

Yes, the display in a cinema where movies are projected is called a screen.
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Do all sports use nets?

No, only specific sports like tennis, soccer, and volleyball use nets.
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Can the word screen refer to a part of an electronic device?

Yes, a screen can refer to the display part of devices like TVs and computers.
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Is a computer screen touch-sensitive?

Some computer screens are touch-sensitive, but not all.
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Can "net" mean an interconnected system?

Yes, "net" can refer to an interconnected group or system, like a network.
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What's a primary use of a net?

A primary use of a net is to catch or protect objects.
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Are nets always made of soft materials?

No, nets can be made of various materials, including metal wires.
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Can the word net be associated with profit?

Yes, terms like "net profit" refer to the amount after all deductions are made.
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Can both nets and screens serve protective functions?

Yes, nets can protect by catching or enclosing, while screens can shield or block.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Is the internet a type of net?

Yes, the internet is a type of network, often referred to as the "net."
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

What's the difference between a screen and a monitor?

A screen is the display surface, while a monitor includes the screen and its encasing electronics.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Can screens be used for privacy?

Yes, screens can be used as partitions to provide privacy in settings like restaurants.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Are screens always flat?

While many modern screens are flat, there are curved screens, especially for immersive viewing.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

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Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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