Definition of neck in English:



  • 1The part of a person's or animal's body connecting the head to the rest of the body.

    ‘she had a silver crucifix around her neck’
    • ‘She got up and massaged her tight neck muscles.’
    • ‘I pictured the huge flightless bird with a lofty, slender neck and beady eyes.’
    • ‘She tilted the girl's neck to the side, leaving the jugular exposed.’
    • ‘He went back to watching TV, rubbing his stiff neck.’
    • ‘She was given a neck brace and taken to the hospital on a stretcher.’
    • ‘I wiped the back of my bare, sweaty neck with my hand.’
    • ‘He wrenched him around and grasped his scrawny neck in a dangerously tight headlock.’
    • ‘I wanted to wring his scrawny little neck.’
    • ‘Viridian enquires as she pats the dragon's thick, scaly neck.’
    • ‘Whispering my name once again, he tilted my head to the side, and kissed my bare neck.’
    • ‘The hangman miscalculated the drop and the man's neck was not broken.’
    • ‘I grabbed the bars again, and craned my stiff neck to look out as far as I could.’
    • ‘He suffered a neck injury that led to the end of his playing career.’
    • ‘She is suffering from whiplash and is wearing a neck brace as a precaution.’
    • ‘Rubbing at his aching neck with the hand he still had, he turned toward the fire.’
    • ‘She was breathing heavily and rubbing her sore neck with one hand.’
    • ‘She stretched her long, graceful neck out to me and I drew back a little.’
    • ‘Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles.’
    • ‘He nuzzled my neck for a moment before raising his head.’
    • ‘He drew his sword in one swift motion and prepared to slash it into the woman's exposed neck.’
    • ‘Pull your shoulders down while leaning your head to each side to stretch your neck muscles.’
    • ‘He of course, took this as an invitation to kiss her exposed neck.’
    nape, scruff
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The part of a garment that is around or close to the neck.
      ‘her dress had three buttons at the neck undone’
      ‘a round neck’
      • ‘The man picked up the three turtle necks and started to ring them up.’
      • ‘Her pride and joy was a white polo neck sweater, white trousers and knee length jerkin.’
      • ‘Does she want me to dress in turtle necks and jeans all the time?’
      • ‘He was wearing a navy blue button neck polo shirt, worn blue jeans with a tear on the right leg and trainers.’
      • ‘I went through my wardrobe for a short denim skirt and a white halter neck.’
      • ‘Putting the logo on the sleeve or the neck is a popular, fresh approach that especially suits camp shirts.’
      • ‘There was a piece of metal about this big stuck in the neck piece of my vest.’
      • ‘He caught hold of the neck of the offending garment and ripped it clean to the hem.’
      • ‘She flicked through the dresses until a sky-blue halter neck dress caught her eye.’
      • ‘I'd downed three mouthfuls so far and was starting to sweat through my polo neck sweater.’
      • ‘Our favourite V - neck woolly jumper wearing lads are back to reclaim their throne.’
      • ‘Choose wide, open or low-cut necks, which create length.’
      • ‘Today he was wearing a cobalt button-down casual shirt with a collar neck.’
      • ‘Allison then put on her tight black Capri pants and her red turtle neck.’
      • ‘"Yeah, OK, as long as I can use your halter neck.’
      • ‘She was wearing a thick polo neck sweater, but beneath it she wore next to nothing.’
      • ‘Tonight, Raven wore a silky red blouse with a high neck secured with gold buttons and enlaced with gold trimming.’
      • ‘He tugged at the neck of his turtleneck sweater feeling like it was a noose tightening with each attack.’
      • ‘I pulled the neck of my gown close about me and asked: ‘You guys sure you want to be out in this?’’
    2. 1.2mass noun Meat from an animal's neck.
      ‘neck of lamb’
      • ‘What next - peppered shark or ostrich neck marinated in Calvados?’
      • ‘TODAY IS St Patrick's Day and one thing you can be sure of in Ireland is a good Irish stew, made with lamb neck, onions and potatoes.’
      • ‘Stuffed pork fillet roll is also offered, as is pork neck, and pork kebab.’
      • ‘Richard freeze-dried the head and neck and saved the meat for venison patties.’
      • ‘She creates the tasty treat by arranging layers of onion, tomato and pork neck steak on the skewer.’
      • ‘They'd use cheap neck and leg cuts but not the most amazing lamb cutlets.’
      • ‘For beef, good casserole cuts are shin, brisket, neck, topside, thick flank or shoulder.’
      • ‘Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns, reserved duck necks and remaining duck or goose fat.’
      • ‘They had no bed, breakfast was bread and water and dinner was a bowl of rice with chicken carcass or turkey neck.’
      • ‘Go for sweet-tasting neck fillets and simply sauté them in olive oil with onions, garlic and some chunky carrots.’
      • ‘You need best end of neck lamb chops but don't over-trim them; leave a little fat on for flavour.’
      • ‘Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water.’
      • ‘My cache includes a fat bouquet of coriander, some lamb neck fillets raised at Boathouse Farm near Lewes, and a pot of yellow honey from Sussex bees.’
    3. 1.3 A person's neck regarded as bearing a burden of responsibility or guilt.
      ‘he'll be stuck with a loan around his neck’
      • ‘It was like a thousand albatrosses around England supporters' necks every five minutes.’
      • ‘Financially he has been struggling for quite a while, and although he will be falling off the property ladder he will have one less millstone around his neck.’
      • ‘Who wants a heavy burden that hangs around your neck for years like a dead raccoon?’
      • ‘The Republicans clearly hope the same millstone can be hung around Kerry's neck this year.’
      • ‘Never was the knot around his neck tighter than 15 months ago when the News of the World accused him of being a love rat and a religious bigot.’
      • ‘A country like the United States, they give them enough rope to tie the noose around their neck several times.’
      • ‘Does Kerry deserve to have the most vitriolic Democrats hung around his neck?’
      • ‘And it's real, and it's out there, and Gore just happens to have the anchor around his neck.’
      • ‘You've been nothing but a ball and chain of heartache and hurt hanging around my neck for too many Godforsaken years.’
      • ‘That is like a millstone around his neck and one that made him a tad tetchy when the subject was inevitably raised again yesterday.’
      • ‘Sorry to use a cliché but it can't be a weight around our neck.’
      • ‘I try to be aware of the space I take up, of the prejudice that I carry, and the privilege that is the albatross around my neck.’
      • ‘Milnrow Parish Church is a millstone around its parishioners necks, says the vicar, the Rev Robin Usher.’
      • ‘Hanging blame for the Northern Bank raid around the necks of the Sinn Fein leadership has clear political advantages for the taoiseach.’
      • ‘The chain of parenthood just got tighter around my neck as now I actually have to pay attention more than half of the time.’
      • ‘This is what happens when a government starts breathing down banks' necks - and maybe it's not such a bad thing.’
      • ‘The one albatross it would be deeply unfair to hang around his neck is the one people seem to have already slain and roped for him.’
      • ‘With a mortgage weighing heavily around my neck, how was I to afford to do all that was necessary to give the cottage my individual stamp?’
      • ‘And it's not just individuals who are trying to avoid having any albatross hung around their neck.’
  • 2A narrow connecting or end part of something.

    • ‘There was blossom on the trees, birds were singing and a stork was nesting in the neck of a rusting water tower on an abandoned farm.’
    1. 2.1 The part of a bottle or other container near the mouth.
      ‘he seized the neck of the whisky bottle’
      • ‘He told the court how the man stared aggressively at him before walking over holding an empty bottle by the neck.’
      • ‘Chase squeezed the neck of the bottle tightly, making his hands sweat and his knuckles go white.’
      • ‘Carlotta wrapped her slender fingers around the neck of the vase sitting next to her husband's chair.’
      • ‘I picked candle wax where it had run down the neck of the wine bottle and hardened.’
      • ‘She said Gavin, then 17, had been seen waving a bottle by its neck.’
      • ‘Grasping the broken bottle by its neck, he slashed at the crazed slayer with it.’
      • ‘If your corkscrew won't shift it, try running hot water over the neck of the bottle to expand the glass, then revert to the corkscrew.’
      • ‘The final straw came when the wine waiter let a single drop fall from the neck of the bottle on to the table.’
      • ‘He held the bottle by its neck, and unscrewed the cap and dropped it.’
      • ‘Then he tore the cloth and soaked the torn ends in gasoline, and then stuffed them in the neck of each bottle.’
      • ‘The necks of old port bottles, for example, usually have a slightly bulbous form.’
      • ‘She placed her hand around the neck of the bottle and dragged it towards her.’
      • ‘She stabbed another student with a broken bottle neck.’
      • ‘My hand trembled, the neck of the bottle knocked against the rim of the glass.’
      • ‘She ran towards it and picked up a hefty bottle by the neck.’
      • ‘Men tilting their pints and liquor gurgling out of the neck of the bottles in a steamy smoke-filled American pub.’
      • ‘She reached beside her and wrapped her fingers around the neck of a large pouch that she had to fill with water.’
      • ‘Instead, she fitted a funnel attachment to the neck of the red bottle.’
      • ‘To decant these bottles successfully all you need to do is to hold the neck of the bottle above a bright light and pour the contents slowly into a clean jug, or decanter.’
      • ‘Stuffed into the neck of the bottle was a flame engulfed rag, blazing brightly.’
      • ‘Describing the incident in the caravan, he said the man had hold of a vodka bottle by the neck and he reached for the knife out of panic and fear.’
      • ‘One broke off the neck of the bottle in order to release the ointment.’
    2. 2.2 A narrow piece of land or sea, such as an isthmus or channel.
      ‘the narrow neck of land between loch and sea’
      • ‘After bouncing weighted nymphs along the bottom through the neck of a pool, a good-sized fish took, ran several yards and came off.’
      • ‘The evacuation of the people of Kyle and of Kyleakin on Skye on the other side of the narrow neck of Loch Alsh began at once.’
      • ‘It stood at the head of the spur, and was linked to the mass of the mountains by a broad neck.’
      • ‘To divert Turkish attention, the Royal Naval Division would make a feint attack at Bulair, at the narrow neck of the peninsula.’
      • ‘After an hour's steaming they came to a channel between two narrow necks of land through which the tide rushed with the frenzy of the Severn Bore.’
      • ‘A narrow neck of land at the southeast corner of the peninsula connects it with the adjacent upland.’
      • ‘After about twenty five minutes we passed through the narrow neck leading into Eagle bay.’
      strait, straits, sound, arm, narrows, passage, sea passage, stretch of water, waterway
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3Anatomy A narrow part near one end of an organ, such as the uterus.
      ‘the neck of the womb, usually called the cervix’
      • ‘However, results may be limited, because the bladder neck and median prostate lobe cannot be treated.’
      • ‘For example, figure 3 depicts an orthopaedics unit reviewing its care for patients with fractured neck of femur.’
      • ‘The bulking agent is injected periurethrally or transurethrally under the submucosa to bulk the tissues around the bladder neck.’
      • ‘Changes in the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip were similar in both groups.’
      • ‘In-hospital mortality after admission for fractured neck of femur is 13 % in England.’
      • ‘A common example of this is the cervical smear test, which is a biopsy of the cells around a woman's cervix, the neck of the womb.’
      • ‘The narrow neck of the uterus is called the cervix.’
      • ‘Similar trends were found when measuring density at the femoral neck and greater trochanter.’
      • ‘Stage 1 involves stopping the heart beat of the foetus and softening the neck of the womb (cervix).’
      • ‘Despite being large the neck of the hernia is narrow, however, only surgery can correct it.’
      • ‘Density mass was determined by measuring the femoral necks and the lumbar spine.’
      • ‘Bone density measurements at the hip and femoral neck were also significantly lower in the anorexia nervosa group.’
    4. 2.4 The part of a violin, guitar, or other similar instrument that bears the fingerboard.
      • ‘Max placed the guitar in Milo's lap, and Milo gently curled his long fingers around the neck.’
      • ‘A single musician played a sprightly tune on a curious stringed instrument with two necks.’
      • ‘D.J. steepled his fingers against the neck of his guitar, and then bent them over the chords.’
      • ‘I ran my fingers down the neck of the guitar, relishing how smooth and polished it felt.’
      • ‘The Bard pulled up, hands reaching for the strings and neck of the lute.’
      • ‘I could never play it though I was always hypnotized by how people could strum the cords and work the neck of the guitar.’
      • ‘A European bowed string instrument with a neck and resonator carved from a single piece of wood.’
    5. 2.5often volcanic neckGeology A column of solidified lava or igneous rock formed in a volcanic vent, especially when exposed by erosion.
      • ‘Climbers had been daunted by this 1,700-foot volcanic neck for years; at least one had died trying to reach the top.’
      • ‘To the south of this valley are many more volcanic necks which have unusual shapes and color.’
      • ‘The volcanic necks are composed of basic rocks, basalt, basalt breccia, or andesite, showing considerable variation in mineralogy, texture, and structure within the same neck.’
      • ‘A dominant landform near the Cuesta College campus is the chain of volcanic necks known as the Morros or the Seven Sisters.’
      • ‘A zone of sterilized rock around the volcanic neck will be sampled at a depth of several hundred meters to determine if microorganisms are present.’
      • ‘These volcanic necks are what remain of the volcanic ‘throat’ after surrounding sediment and pyroclastic material has been stripped away.’
      • ‘Over here is Belougery Spire, OK, and that's an old volcanic neck.’
      • ‘The first few of these volcanic necks are identified as rhyolite, a light colored rock.’
      • ‘Devil's Tower in Wyoming is one of several exposed volcanic necks in the area.’
      • ‘Sometimes volcanic necks are locally referred to as a butte.’
      • ‘The western range, called the Black Mountains, is a rugged terrain with numerous volcanic necks and lava flows.’
      • ‘These volcanic necks are the remnants of upwelling lava from the cores of active volcanoes in prehistoric times.’
      • ‘A beautiful example of a volcanic neck is Shiprock Mountain, New Mexico shown in picture 4.’
      • ‘Devils Tower, Wyoming, is probably a volcanic neck but might also be a laccolith.’
      • ‘Wingrock soils are on low fan terraces below volcanic necks and associated dikes.’
      • ‘A volcanic neck is simply the hardened magma in the ‘pipe’ or central channel of a volcano.’
      • ‘Ryolite is the hard rock, which can be seen in the large volcanic neck that juts up along the river and is the bulk of the rock in the park.’
      • ‘This volcanic neck is located a few miles south of Tuff Canyon on the west side of the road.’
      • ‘These four landform types are called lava flows, volcanic peaks, calderas, and volcanic necks.’
      • ‘The ore body is brecciated and may represent the filling of a volcanic neck or pipe.’
    6. 2.6Botany A narrow supporting part in a plant, especially the terminal part of the fruiting body in a fern, bryophyte, or fungus.
      • ‘Earlier works were focused only on formation of coated buds connected to the initial membrane by narrow membrane necks.’
      • ‘Stem growth should also be absent and the neck and base of the bulb should be firm and rot free.’
  • 3The length of a horse's head and neck as a measure of its lead in a race.

    ‘Dolpour won by a neck from Wood Dancer’
    • ‘Kicking King edged out Monkerhostin by a neck on Monday to win the King George VI Chase at Sandown.’
    • ‘The eight-year-old has finished in the frame in both his starts this season and went down by only a neck to On The Outside over fences at Stratford last month.’
    • ‘But he accelerated superbly to lead just after the last and eased down to win by a neck.’
    • ‘Her only loss was a second-place finish by a neck in an allowance race on May 9 at Lyon-Parilly.’
    • ‘Victory Smile was second, with Magic Winner a short neck behind in third.’
    • ‘Bandari took to the front with four furlongs to go but he was pressured all the way to the finish by a group of five other horses before eventually winning by a head and a neck.’
    • ‘Guided Tour was the runner-up, one length behind the winner and a neck ahead of Golden Missile.’
    • ‘And the tactic pays off as Fire Up The Band just holds off the fast-finishing The Tatling to win by a neck.’
    • ‘Dunmurry King 5/1 which had come in as a reserve was a neck further away third.’
    • ‘Stoway won by a neck, with Takas and Vital Agreement finishing in a dead heat for second.’
    • ‘Simington guided Coalhouse to a neck win in the ninth race at Louisiana Downs to reach the milestone.’
    • ‘Indian Creek came from nowhere to claim the Hardwicke Stakes, winning by a neck from Bollin Eric in a thrilling finish.’
    • ‘But Hughes didn't give up and Screwdriver gave one last push to win by a neck.’
    • ‘Big Prairie and Gun Salute came running late to close the gap, but ran out of race track as Rush Bay held on to win by a neck.’
    • ‘The filly prevailed by a short head, with Chorist a neck away in third.’
    • ‘But he ran some good races in defeat before winning at Goodwood by a neck from Swinbrook.’
    • ‘But Robinson's mount, trained by Clive Cox, battled back to take the lead once again in the closing moments to win by a neck.’
    • ‘On her latest outing Jamie Mackay's mount swept through to lead inside the final furlong and win by a neck from Astrocharm.’
    • ‘Gaelic Dream edged Just Heavens Gate by a neck for the second spot in the race for three-year-olds and older.’
    • ‘After being ninth with a furlong left to run, War Chant rallied six wide to win by a neck.’


  • 1informal no object (of two people) kiss and caress amorously.

    ‘we started necking on the sofa’
    • ‘We watched the intro, which is a great, colourful and enticing cavalcade of various scenarios: people dancing, doing yoga, necking and so on.’
    • ‘We are an unlikely couple to be necking on the street.’
    • ‘You'll have to explain why you and Kiley are necking at your birthday party anyways.’
    • ‘People don't want to see a big muscly man necking with his wife.’
    • ‘The bus stops in Oklahoma and Sal meets a girl with whom he necks all the way to Indianapolis.’
    • ‘I fondly recall my early sexual experiences, where discovery, anticipation, and mystery were such a big part of the excitement, and you spent hours just necking before even thinking of heading south - if you even dared.’
    • ‘As a big fan myself, I was glad to see so many folks just can't get enough kissing, necking, smooching, or whatever you like to call the delicious union of lips, tongues and mouths.’
    • ‘Not just kissing, they were necking passionately, hands all over each other, inside each other's clothing, oblivious of me, of anyone or anything but their mutual passion.’
    • ‘She gets crushes on girls, or her gay male friends, though she spends a lot of time necking with a cross dresser named Curry.’
    • ‘She will gossip about you if she sees you behaving outside of the boundaries of moral decency (like necking in the park), especially with someone that happens NOT to be your better half.’
    • ‘Ear-licking, necking in bushes, it's all there.’
    • ‘I was speechless, however, when I found that the pair who had been observed necking in the farthest corner of the room about an hour ago remained in the same position, totally oblivious to the happenings around them.’
    • ‘I will name, also, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr necking on the beach in From Here to Eternity.’
    • ‘It seems they're necking on the decking, whispering sweet nothings by the sweet peas and what they get up to behind the shrubbery is nobody's business.’
    • ‘Personally, I'm still a big fan of the early years, with all that pre-sex necking in a dark corner for, like, three hours until you're both so randy you can hardly see straight.’
    • ‘Soon enough, she's necking passionately with the hot young author whose latest book she's been hired to work on.’
    • ‘Well, middle-aged people shouldn't be necking on TV; this is rule number-one.’
    • ‘No worries, Mom - I think I've outgrown necking at my parents' house.’
    • ‘Her attempts to push the relationship forward move at a glacial pace, but eventually she and her new lover are forced, mostly by embarrassment, to progress from necking.’
    • ‘You respond to physical stimulation, enjoy necking and spending hours just touching, feeling and exploring.’
    kiss, caress, pet
    View synonyms
  • 2British informal with object Swallow (something, especially a drink)

    ‘after necking some beers, we left the bar’
    • ‘The boy grins and necks a pill that won't be invented again for another seven years.’
    • ‘I made my excuses, scabbed £20 for a cab off a friend and ran home, where I necked some painkillers, kicked off my boots, dived into bed fully clothed and slept for five hours.’
    • ‘I have to say, though, necking champagne on a rooftop with one of the best views of the city beats the actual handover event hands down.’
    • ‘I necked some Lucozade, three lattes and a tea in an attempt to stay awake, and walked up and down Tottenhan Court Road with Mark at lunchtime in a vain attempt to stave off unconsciousness.’
    • ‘Of course there's nothing wrong with necking a few beers and getting caught up in the buzz of the World Cup.’
    • ‘Usually I neck it with a big glass of orange juice just before my bacon roll during our morning tea break.’
    • ‘I headed to the pub, and was stunned by the noise, the crowd, the smoke and the astonishing quantities of alcohol that were being necked by the denizens of Carlisle.’
    • ‘They recommend passengers embarking on long flights neck an aspirin beforehand to avoid Economy Class Syndrome.’
    • ‘He's not here just at the moment though as he's currently necking a couple of gin and tonics to soothe the nerves in the Big Blogger green room.’
    • ‘It was Ursula down in reception, ready for our joint leaving do, so I necked the drink and carted off my stuff, taking a last look around the office that has been a second home for the last six years.’
    • ‘‘Nearly everyone I know necks a few pints to get into the mood,’ Ian said.’
    • ‘Mark and Will saw me necking my drink in an effort to escape, and saved me by calling me over to tell me something ‘very important’.’
    • ‘She then returned alone into the pub, necked her drink, stared at everyone in threatening manner and left to puzzled looks all round.’
    • ‘He was ordering two at a time and necking them like it was last orders in a Nottingham nightclub.’
    • ‘After sleeping for most of the day and necking another handful of the same vitamin pills as yesterday, I'm feeling a lot better.’
    • ‘Ah well, I'll just blame it on the bourbon I've been necking all evening…’
    • ‘I did run around a lot, eat a fair amount of food, neck a reasonable amount of champagne, and get fairly merry all up.’
    • ‘Apparently, Austin is responsible for necking one per cent of the tequila bought in the US - about five times the average.’
    • ‘Not to mention a weekend necking more Nurofen than is strictly recommended.’
    • ‘Lucky for him, I was agoraphobic at the time, and could barely make it to the corner shop without necking a month's supply of Valium.’
    • ‘Frequently ravers would continue into the next day as they necked more pills in a quest to recapture the feeling of the first rush, or to retreat from the depressing re - entry into the grey normality of the everyday.’
    swallow, gulp down, quaff, swill, guzzle, sup
    View synonyms
  • 3often neck downno object Form a narrowed part at a particular point when subjected to tension.

    ‘the nylon filament necks down to a fraction of its original diameter’
    • ‘Because an appreciable fraction of the plastic deformation will be concentrated in the necked region of the tension specimen, the value of e f will depend on the gage length L 0 over which the measurement was taken.’
    • ‘He thinks that Shimano's pin, by necking down, allows the hole to constrict again after being stretched by the flared leading tip, while his damages the hole less with its smoother, gapless transition from leading tip to pin.’


  • break one's neck to do something

    • informal Exert oneself to the utmost to achieve something.

      ‘he had to break his neck to make Price's work look good’
      • ‘But tonight showed the contrast between a guy who's finished his agenda and a guy who's breaking his neck to implement a new agenda.’
      • ‘I am beginning to feel out of step because I'm not breaking my neck to grow my business.’
      • ‘I support this, although I wouldn't break my neck to fight for it.’
      • ‘You do not seem to enjoy being in their company, even though Natasha breaks her neck to make you comfortable.’
      • ‘I'm afraid I've lost a bit of respect for the people I've been breaking my neck to represent.’
  • get (or catch) it in the neck

    • informal Be severely criticized or punished.

      ‘whenever I try to help someone, I seem to get it in the neck’
      • ‘This time its the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who is getting it in the neck.’
      • ‘With the Minister for Finance getting it on the neck from all sides for the tough stance in the Budget it might be reasonable to assume he has got it right.’
      • ‘So you see the great guys getting it in the neck and you say, well, why should I be any different?’
      • ‘The Police Minister is getting it in the neck for this, but he's a loyal old stick.’
      • ‘Henry has been getting it in the neck, nevertheless, for failing to take a proper patriotic holiday.’
      • ‘I was getting it in the neck, so was the chairman but deep down he realises what I'm attempting to do.’
      • ‘Enough of that will happen anyway, without the assistance of the morally certain - it's always the poor average person who gets it in the neck.’
      • ‘The film reviews are fascinating snapshots across more than half a century, and Hollywood itself gets it in the neck regularly.’
      • ‘So, after the Reds had lost successive home games for the first time in four years, it was a fair bet somebody was going to get it in the neck.’
      • ‘I do still fail to see why Liverpool got it in the neck in your article as a result.’
      • ‘With the modern world getting it in the neck from both The Times and The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph could hardly stand idly by.’
      • ‘Because they'll do the diags on it back at base and find out it's still working, and then I'll get it in the neck for not diagnosing it properly.’
      • ‘Microsoft gets it in the neck on both these points, especially whenever a high-profile Windows exploit is released.’
      • ‘And I hope Buffy's boyfriend gets it in the neck - he's a waste of space.’
      • ‘The problem now is that in these peace processing days it's not the Fenians down the road that are getting it in the neck but the Prods up the street.’
      • ‘Ordinary mortals, however, get it in the neck for just happening to be driving by when the VVIP cavalcade zooms past.’
      • ‘But perhaps it does take somebody of above the average wit to predict that they are going to really catch it in the neck when their wells dry up in 2025.’
      • ‘One said: ‘We are in the front line so we get it in the neck.’’
      • ‘The Minister for Education was getting it in the neck over the (still only theoretical) return of some sort of third level fees.’
      • ‘Salmon farmers have a hard enough time dealing with anti-farm protesters, regulations and international competition without getting it in the neck from their clients as well.’
      • ‘‘We'd get it in the neck on Monday if he'd a bad game the day before’.’
      • ‘Poor Corinthians are always getting it in the neck from their fans.’
  • have the neck to do something

    • informal Have the impudence or nerve to do something.

      ‘he had the neck to say I wasn't going to marry the man’
      • ‘Dr Cowley even had the neck to plug in his phone in Mr Kenny's office.’
      • ‘Do you have the neck to ask for a bigger discount from your supplier?’
      • ‘It will be interesting to see how many members of the Irish Government and the Opposition who have colluded with them will have the neck to come to County Limerick in St Patrick's week to shake the hand of Lech Walesa.’
      • ‘It was estimated that 20,000 Lions supporters had descended on Brisbane for the game but just one had the neck to get the exact shot he wanted at the big time.’
      • ‘And he had the neck to tell me that if it wasn't for the passengers the railways would be very efficient.’
      • ‘Imagine having the neck to take a week's holidays after sitting for a mere 12 days on their return from a 14-week summer holiday.’
  • neck and neck

    • Level in a race or other competition.

      ‘opinion polls showed the two major parties neck and neck’
      • ‘In terms of reputation, the two architects were neck and neck by the time Hitler came to power.’
      • ‘Going into the final game, the two sides were neck and neck, so everything hinged on the 30-minute match.’
      • ‘Have you ever been in the stands at a race meeting when ‘your’ horse is neck and neck on that last half furlong?’
      • ‘In this instance, you have the unsavory spectacle of blatant cynicism racing neck and neck with latent xenophobia.’
      • ‘The challenger was already running neck and neck with the incumbent president.’
      • ‘Polls put the two main candidates neck and neck at the head of a race with 24 candidates in all, making a run-off next month almost certain.’
      • ‘Till the end of the race, they were neck and neck and at the end of the race, they couldn't tell who won.’
      • ‘He was neck and neck with someone, almost to the finish line when the pounding of fresh rain brought him to life again.’
      • ‘I think Fionn, Katrina, and Marla are all running neck and neck.’
      • ‘We were neck and neck, him matching me stride for stride, the sounds of the screaming crowd overwhelming the sounds of us.’
      • ‘Recent opinion polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are neck and neck in national popular support.’
      • ‘It happened just as a Gold Cup was reaching its closing stages, with about five horses racing neck and neck.’
      • ‘Tonight, it's the night before the election and the race for the White House is neck and neck.’
      • ‘Two of the horses were neck and neck down to the finish line with a crowd of cowboys and cowgirls cheering them on.’
      • ‘She caught up, and we were neck and neck, going as fast as we possibly could.’
      • ‘They had not had things all their own way and the race was neck and neck until the last 200 meters.’
      • ‘These two evenly matched players compete neck and neck and so the mental element will make the difference.’
      • ‘Throughout the competition, a number of teams were neck and neck and it was only in the final rounds that the winners were evident.’
      • ‘Quitting smoking is always a big winner for the top New Year's resolution - running neck and neck with losing weight.’
      • ‘Helian jumped up right behind her, and soon they were racing neck and neck.’
      • ‘The sudden rise in poll fortunes last month, when the party was neck and neck with Labour for the first time in a decade, appears to have been little more than a blip.’
      • ‘The two cars were soon neck and neck, engines screaming down the narrow roadway.’
      • ‘The pair were neck and neck over the last and fought it out right to the winning post, with the judge needing several minutes to separate them in a photo finish.’
      level, equal, tied, nip and tuck, side by side, with nothing to choose between them, close together
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  • neck of the woods

    • informal A particular area.

      ‘fancy seeing her in this neck of the woods!’
      • ‘The olives, rosemary and lavender all seem to be going well too, as the autumn continues to be quite warm and balmy in this neck of the woods.’
      • ‘Planning permission is next to impossible to get in this neck of the woods.’
      • ‘From my neck of the woods we would say; " Bring it on.’
      • ‘On weekends we'd take turns cruising the various town and villages in our neck of the woods.’
      • ‘City slicker smart alecs don't go down well in this neck of the woods - a constituency comprising a huge swathe of rural Ulster.’
      • ‘Another plus point for the Old Dock Bar was its wine list, which was exceptional value for this neck of the woods.’
      • ‘It's not too bad here on the coast, but reports from the Midlands suggest that things are a bit chillier in that neck of the woods.’
      • ‘In my neck of the woods, people discuss differences of opinions, rather than set up straw men and knock them down.’
      • ‘Naturally, I was delighted to hear he'd be making a pit stop in my neck of the woods on his way back from Northern Ireland.’
      • ‘Its West End location means it unavoidably gets the besuited, after-work types that lurk in packs in this neck of the woods.’
      • ‘Those who study statistics in plush Whitehall office suites should get out and visit this neck of the woods.’
      • ‘It had been about a year since I'd been in that neck of the woods.’
      • ‘Well, there's nothing much happening in my neck of the woods right now.’
      • ‘Anyway, if you're ever in that neck of the woods, check it out.’
      • ‘The Australian Government and indeed the public have just become aware of the worst maritime disaster ever seen in our neck of the woods.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, it's turned out to be a bit of PR disaster… at least in our neck of the woods.’
      • ‘I feel a link to it because, although Campden is far from my neck of the woods, I know the village and the reputed home of one of the protagonists very well indeed.’
      • ‘Do you have any exotic wild animals in your neck of the woods?’
      • ‘Find out what's going on in your neck of the woods, and enjoy yourself.’
      • ‘And they say a lot of rain falls in this neck of the woods?’
      • ‘Gardening - as it is practised in my neck of the woods - requires a little bit of forward planning.’
      • ‘We very rarely get snow in this neck of the woods.’
      neighbourhood, district, area, locality, locale, quarter, community, part, region, zone
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  • up to one's neck in

    • informal Seriously or busily involved in.

      ‘they were up to their necks in debt’
      • ‘Oh, because if you really went to the Caribbean without my consent, you'd be up to your neck in trouble.’
      • ‘But the local villains have other ideas and almost immediately Nicky is up to his neck in criminal activities.’
      • ‘There he was a couple of years ago without a penny to his name and up to his neck in trouble.’
      • ‘I'll try and work on it over the next few days, but I'm up to my neck in work and life at the moment, so free time is at a premium.’
      • ‘EastEnder's entrepreneur is up to his neck in debt.’
      • ‘However, I failed to keep my vow and, thanks to a nasty spending habit that began in 1995, I was soon up to my neck in debt again.’
      • ‘He's up to his neck in the latest scam.’
      • ‘In addition to which, I am up to my neck in Secretarial work as the conference in Tobago approaches (early November).’
      • ‘They were up to their neck in corrupt practice and that was the way that the thing went.’
      • ‘In your work life, you're up to your neck in Machiavellian intrigue.’
      • ‘So it was a very interesting time, and I was right up to my neck in social welfare work.’
      • ‘If I hadn't been up to my neck in trouble before, I certainly was now.’
      • ‘Because they are up to their neck in it, the police and the politicians turn a blind eye.’
      • ‘Before you know it, you're up to your neck in zombies.’
      • ‘We've been up to our neck in trouble since the bombing raid in the city two days ago.’
      • ‘When I returned from the Caribbean I was up to my neck in inspiration…’
      • ‘What if I have the desire and talent to design clothes but must hold down a desk job because I have four kids and am up to my neck in bills?’
      • ‘He was up to his neck in all kinds of illegal property deals and back-handers.’
      • ‘He was later appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs, while up to his neck in corruption.’
      • ‘He would have been up to his neck in discussions with the CIA about the bombing, and would have massive inside knowledge about the case.’


Old English hnecca ‘back of the neck’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nek ‘neck’ and German Nacken ‘nape’.