Definition of neigh in English:



  • A characteristic high whinnying sound made by a horse.

    • ‘He pulled the reigns, forcing the horse to a stop with a loud neigh.’
    • ‘She stopped and listened to the horses snorting in the early morning, the occasional neigh and running of hooves, and the late cry of the owl.’
    • ‘Just as they did this all of the horses let out a fearful neigh, and took off running.’
    • ‘It greeted her with a neigh and she stroked the horse's face.’
    • ‘A ear-splitting neigh jolted him back to his senses, and a sudden flash of white shot towards him, ducking underwater for a split second to lift him up beneath it.’
    • ‘As soon as she walked into the barn it erupted with neighs of happiness.’
    • ‘He could not ignore the howls and concerned neighs.’
    • ‘After that was the unmistakable neigh of a horse.’
    • ‘There was an alarmed stamping of hooves and a shrill neigh from the horse in the stall nearest to him.’
    • ‘Shortly afterward, the others heard whinnies and neighs and the two rescuers urging their steeds forward.’
    • ‘The song slowly faded away, until all that remained was the muffled sounds of the soldiers and the occasional neighs from the horses.’
    • ‘Moving forward to hush the horse, Garrett was surprised to hear an answering neigh.’
    • ‘The nearest horses reared, shooting out two-foot flames, making a sound that was a cross between a neigh and a roar.’
    • ‘In a decision that speaks well of his integrity but poorly of his abilities as a children's entertainer, screenwriter John Fusco decided that his equine characters communicate only through neighs and whinnies.’
    • ‘He made a sound like a cross between a grunt and a neigh.’
    • ‘The horse let out with a loud neigh and reared high into the air, causing the other horse to start.’
    • ‘We reached the end point, and while I loosened up my stiffened joints safely on the ground, the horses rejoined their mates in the paddock with happy neighs.’
    • ‘Those in the river spun upward end over end into the air and their terrified neighs faded into the distance.’
    • ‘Darren waited anxiously as he heard the stomp of hooves and a little neigh which he knew belonged to the foal.’
    • ‘A loud neigh erupted from the horse as it yanked away, whites of the eyes showing and ears back.’


  • 1 (of a horse) utter a neigh:

    ‘he neighed several times in a very gentle way’
    ‘the neighing of horses’
    • ‘The horse neighed in response and stepped closer.’
    • ‘The horse neighed and stamped its foot in reply.’
    • ‘Richard whistled and a lone horse neighed and ran to him.’
    • ‘A few of them could have sworn they could hear a horse neighing nearby.’
    • ‘She was brought back to her senses by a horse neighing.’
    • ‘Generators are running all night and their horses are neighing and the dogs barking.’
    • ‘The horse neighed and nudged her affectionately.’
    • ‘Under the moon and stars, far from any city, with the horses neighing and music playing, the Americans and Mexicans danced in the dusty roadways.’
    • ‘The horses neighed in alarm and the coachman fought to control them.’
    • ‘As I was being consumed by the iridescence of light reflected by the dewdrops, Crystal, my horse neighed impatiently putting his moist, warm brown muzzle to my ear.’
    • ‘Her horse neighed, frightened, and moved quickly away.’
    • ‘His horse neighed as he pulled back on the reigns and rode away.’
    • ‘A horse neighed nearby and kicked up some dirt to entertain itself.’
    • ‘Inside each of the four buildings a horse neighed, stamped or whinnied.’
    • ‘As though on cue, a wind started howling in the air, and the horses started neighing, ears laid back.’
    • ‘The horses neighed and whinnied in the grand hall and the castle jolted.’
    • ‘Stopping for a moment to catch his breath, he heard a horse neighing ahead.’
    • ‘The sheep followed each other about, the rabbits ran and jumped playfully in the fields, and the horses neighed in the stables.’
    • ‘The horse neighed and snorted, and my reverie was broken.’
    • ‘Charles thought that an odd remark, and was about to turn around and gaze behind him when the horse neighed in terror, and gained even more speed.’
    whinny, bray, nicker, snicker, whicker
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a person) make a sound similar to a neigh, especially when laughing:
      ‘they neighed dutifully at jokes they did not understand’


Old English hnǣgan (verb), of imitative origin; compare with Dutch dialect neijen.