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In economics, it is frequently used to imply the remaining value after accounting for a specific, commonly understood deduction. In these cases it is contrasted with the term gross, which refers to the pre-deduction value. For example, net income is the total income of a company after deducting its expenses—commonly known as profit—or the total income of an individual after deducting his or her income tax. Profit may be broken down further into pre-taxed or gross profit and profit after taxes or net profit. Similarly, an individual's net worth the difference between their assets (what they own) and their liabilities (what they owe to others).
The word net, in this sense, originally derives from the Latin nitere (to shine) and nitidus (elegant, trim), and more recently from the French net (sharp, neat, clean).
In this sense, it may appear, separated by a comma, following the noun it modifies, e.g., "earned two million dollars, net". Alternatively, it can be used as a verb: "this deal netted the firm two million dollars".
- New World Dictionary of the American Language, Simon and Schuster, 1980.
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