- that part of a human or animal joining the head to the body, including the part of the backbone between the skull and the shoulders
- a narrow part between the head, or end, and the body, or base, of any object: the neck of a violin, the neck of a goblet
- that part of a garment which covers, encircles, or is nearest the neck
- the narrowest part of any object, considered to be like a neck; specif.,
- a narrow strip of land
- the narrowest part of an organ: the neck of the uterus, the neck of a tooth
- the narrowest or tapering part of a bottle, vase, etc.
- a strait or channel
- Geol. a vertical column of hardened igneous rock, formerly plugging a volcanic conduit and later exposed by erosion and weathering
Origin of neckMiddle English nekke from Old English hnecca, akin to German nacken from Indo-European base an unverified form ken-, to bend, squeeze from source nook, nut
break one's neck
get it in the neck
neck and crop
neck and neck
Origin of neckfrom use in horse racing to describe horses running side by side
neck of the woods
risk one's neck
stick one's neck out
win (or lose) by a neck
- Horse Racing to win (or lose) by the length of a horse's head and neck
- to win (or lose) any contest by a narrow margin
- Anatomy a. The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders or trunk.b. A narrow or constricted area of a bodily structure, as of a bone, that joins its parts; a cervix.c. The part of a tooth between the crown and root.
- The part of a garment around or near the neck.
- A relatively narrow elongation, projection, or connecting part: a neck of land; the neck of a flask.
- Music The narrow part along which the strings of an instrument extend to the pegs.
- Printing See beard.
- Geology Solidified lava filling the vent of an extinct volcano.
- The siphon of a bivalve mollusk, such as a clam.
- A narrow margin: won by a neck.
verbnecked, neck·ing, necks
Origin of neckMiddle English nekke from Old English hnecca
Shiprock Peak, a volcanic neck, near Shiprock, New Mexico
- The part of body connecting the head and the trunk found in humans and some animals.
- The corresponding part in some other anatomical contexts.
- The part of a shirt, dress etc., which fits a person's neck.
- The tapered part of a bottle toward the opening.
- (botany) The slender tubelike extension atop an archegonium, through which the sperm swim to reach the egg.
- (music) The extension of any stringed instrument on which a fingerboard is mounted
- A long narrow tract of land projecting from the main body, or a narrow tract connecting two larger tracts.
- (engineering) A reduction in size near the end of an object, formed by a groove around it.
- a neck forming the journal of a shaft
(third-person singular simple present necks, present participle necking, simple past and past participle necked)
From Middle English nekke, nakke, from Old English hnecca, *hnÃ¦cca (“neck, nape"), from Proto-Germanic *hnakkÃ´ (“nape, neck"), from Proto-Indo-European *knog-, *kneg- (“back of the head, nape, neck"). Cognate with Scots nek (“neck"), North Frisian neek, neeke, Nak (“neck"), Saterland Frisian NÃ¤cke (“neck"), West Frisian nekke (“neck"), Dutch nek (“neck"), Low German Nakke (“neck"), German Nacken (“nape of the neck"), Danish nakke (“neck"), Swedish nacke (“neck"), Icelandic hnakki (“neck"), Tocharian A kÃ±uk (“neck, nape"). Possibly a mutated variant of *kneug/k (cf. Old English hnocc 'hook, penis', Welsh cnwch 'joint, knob', Latvian knaÅ«Ä·is 'dwarf', Ancient Greek knychÃ³Å 'to draw together'). More at nook.