Definition of bottleneck in English:



  • 1The neck or mouth of a bottle.

  • 2A narrow section of road or a junction that impedes traffic flow.

    ‘the bottleneck on Talbot Road’
    • ‘But, I ask you, look around and ahead of and behind you when next you are caught in a traffic bottleneck on an expressway and try to account for the snarl rationally.’
    • ‘This section of motorway, part two-lane and part three-lane, is used by more than 90,000 vehicles a day and has been identified as a bottleneck, with severe queuing during peak periods leading to safety concerns.’
    • ‘Another bottleneck exists on Cathedral Road when traffic exiting the Cathedral or coming along the Cathedral Road has to cope with two lines of parked vehicles and heavy trucks.’
    • ‘The package announced today will address some serious bottlenecks on the motorway and trunk road network, which currently cause major delays.’
    • ‘The goal is to minimize bottlenecks at the access points.’
    • ‘‘York Corporation today announced a plan to close many of the city's major road bottlenecks to traffic, except for access,’ the report began.’
    • ‘This particular stretch of road is one of the main bottlenecks for traffic leaving the town during rush hour times.’
    • ‘Once they get within a couple of miles, however, the road reverts back to two-way traffic and the bottleneck creates frustrating tailbacks lasting anything up to half an hour depending on the time of day.’
    • ‘This is why older roads are turning into bottlenecks.’
    • ‘The mayor said that this section of road was a well-known bottleneck that funneled traffic from four lanes into three lanes.’
    • ‘The traffic bottleneck at Main Street, which has forced motorists to drive onto the footpath, has been a bone of contention for some considerable time.’
    • ‘One of the areas that we feel needs to be addressed on priority are bottlenecks in several entry points to the city.’
    • ‘That was helped, he said, by the fact that the local authorities responsible for the roads along the route were working on seven or eight projects involving key bottlenecks and pressure points.’
    • ‘This would be especially good considering the almost daily South Granville Street traffic bottlenecks and gridlock.’
    • ‘For those who do decide to drive, motorists have been warned of possible bottlenecks on motorway approaches and on main roads into city centres.’
    • ‘Eyewitnesses spoke of people having to fight their way to get near the image, while roads round the temple became bottlenecks of traffic.’
    • ‘Location information will provide dispatch offices with information of where assets are, as well as a means by which drivers can be rerouted around traffic bottlenecks.’
    • ‘Passengers were yesterday promised improved East Coast rail services after a bottleneck on the route was removed with the opening of a new section of track.’
    • ‘The proposed subway is envisaged to clear the traffic bottleneck at this busy junction.’
    • ‘Since I moved to Calne 28 years ago the narrow part of Curzon Street has been the main bottleneck for traffic passing through the town centre.’
    traffic jam, jam, congestion, hold-up, gridlock, queue, tailback
    constriction, narrowing, restriction, obstruction, block, blockage, stoppage
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    1. 2.1A situation that causes delay in a process or system.
      ‘animated films are still stymied by a technological bottleneck’
      • ‘The Prime Minister today released the report from the taskforce he commissioned to examine the bottlenecks in the system.’
      • ‘In a pull system, the bottleneck governs the rate that patients flow through the whole process.’
      • ‘That makes drug therapy hard, because we need those important bottlenecks and pivot points to aim our molecules at.’
      • ‘The review should also address the bottlenecks in the planning system that are causing unnecessary delays and costs to the construction sector, the CIF said.’
      • ‘This approach to virtualization concentrates on easing data movement like replication and migration operations, and is also good at identifying system bottlenecks.’
      • ‘Mr Speaker, the first order of business for this government is to fully investigate this situation and remove the bottlenecks that have robbed the economy of the full benefits of these projects.’
      • ‘The bottleneck at this point is effective clinical research that will yield reliable and replicable findings.’
      • ‘Access points can become network bottlenecks.’
      • ‘The current planning process is a real bottleneck.’
      • ‘But for those without firm contracts to the makers of the filter components, there's a bottleneck in production which might cause problems for some.’
      • ‘And executives need to deal with those people-oriented changes up front or risk delays and bottlenecks in getting e-market initiatives off the ground.’
      • ‘According to Airslide President and CEO Marc Zionts, the first problem is to handle today's signaling bottlenecks.’
      • ‘The state government had decided to hand over the laboratory to the Centre in 1995, but administrative bottlenecks caused the seven-year delay.’
      • ‘The new court will merge the criminal and central criminal courts and should clear the bottlenecks that have delayed many hearings, according to the parties.’
      • ‘Many are repeat offenders creating potentially hazardous bottlenecks.’
      • ‘But rather than be a bottleneck, the commissioning process usually helps streamline construction by improving schedules and reducing changes.’
      • ‘As the manufacturing sector continues to grow at a dizzying rate, this is creating a bottleneck in the fast lane of economic development and is an even more pressing problem than power shortages.’
      • ‘This bottleneck is one even police are finding difficult to handle.’
      • ‘These bottlenecks can delay appropriate assignments of patients to beds.’
      • ‘The bottleneck of the process is the passage of the constriction zone.’
      delay, setback, hitch, snag, difficulty, problem, issue, trouble, wait, waiting period, stoppage
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  • 3A device shaped like the neck of a bottle that is worn on a guitarist's finger and used to produce sliding effects on the strings.

    [mass noun] ‘I started using bottleneck on the guitar’
    • ‘A waistcoat is ideal for guitarists, especially if they have loads of extra pockets where you can store bottlenecks, plectrums, tuners, spare batteries and other bits and bobs.’
    • ‘Johnson is respected as one of the greatest, though when he first started playing on street corners he played slide with a pocketknife instead of a bottleneck.’
    • ‘The 11 Harris originals are all class acts, and the reworking of the traditional folk tune ‘Roberta’ a joy, with Scherr's bottleneck swooping and soaring throughout.’
    • ‘There's fast blues and slow blues, and major blues and minor blues, and the kind of blues you play with a bottleneck and the strings already tuned to a chord.’
    • ‘He uses shadowy ghostings of pedal steel or slide blues tonality, though there are no bottlenecks in sight.’
    • ‘When Fred sat down with his guitar and a bottleneck, everyone joined in.’
    1. 3.1[mass noun]The style of playing that uses a bottleneck.
      ‘it is the perfect instrument for playing bottleneck’
      • ‘No Hero's bottleneck guitar screeches and wails in tandem.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, while the technique of slide or bottleneck guitar may owe something to the touring Hawaiian ensembles so popular in the late 1880s and '90s, the substance and content was an unmistakable African retention’
      • ‘A bottleneck guitar occasionally glides between vocal lines, an organ swells ominously beneath the surface, but this remains the sound of aloneness.’
      • ‘Soon the room would be filled with the American musician's hard-edged acoustic blues, his bottleneck slide guitar riffs and harsh vocals cutting through the night.’
      • ‘Williams plays such a ferocious bottleneck guitar that you naturally assume that he used the other part of the bottle to mug someone, having drunk the contents.’
      • ‘And one doesn't have to search hard to hear other Beck signatures: a bottleneck guitar and busker's harmonica here, a Latin beat there, the Bollywood-style string arrangements of his father, David Campbell.’
      • ‘Acoustic bottleneck guitar, oblique keyboard phrases, electric licks distilled from Lynyrd Skynyrd, galvanised British 1960s psychedelia, and hooks stronger than Tyson on the comeback trail combine to create a glorious album.’
      • ‘Through it all, the common thread is the ancient and blessed backbeat, the timeless cry of the bottleneck guitar, and R.L. Burnside's frequently voiced benediction, ‘Well, well, well…’’
      • ‘From watching fellow guitarist Son House, he was inspired to develop his own bottleneck slide technique.’
      • ‘She hits the tough notes on ‘Living Hell’ as the band rock it up with bottleneck guitar and wheezy organs adding new textures to the sound.’
      • ‘Wednesday and Thursday nights, internationally acclaimed blues singer, songwriter and bottleneck slide guitarist Catfish Keith will play two gigs in the North West.’