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See also: drag-net



From drag +‎ net, probably based on the model of Middle English draynet, dreynett (dragnet), Old English dræġnet, dræġnett, equivalent to dray +‎ net.


dragnet (plural dragnets)

  1. A net dragged across the bottom of a body of water.
  2. Heightened efforts by law-enforcement personnel to capture suspects.
    • 2013 July 26, Leo Hickman, “How algorithms rule the world”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 26:
      The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. [] who, if anyone, is policing their use[?] Such concerns were sharpened further by the continuing revelations about how the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been using algorithms to help it interpret the colossal amounts of data it has collected from its covert dragnet of international telecommunications.



dragnet (third-person singular simple present dragnets, present participle dragnetting, simple past and past participle dragnetted)

  1. To make heightened efforts to catch a suspect.