Definition of leatherneck in US English:



  • A US marine.

    • ‘As a father of a leatherneck, I wish to extend my deepest respects to the families of the leathernecks hurt and killed.’
    • ‘The lack of enemy contact - and missions that seem designed to avoid contact with insurgents - frustrates the leathernecks.’
    • ‘Iwo Jima was the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history, and three leathernecks of the 4th and 5th Divisions used sidearms on the sulphurous island during February and March 1945.’
    • ‘An unparalleled warrior and an enlisted leatherneck at heart, he remains the most famous and most revered Marine.’
    • ‘Those resourceful leathernecks have come up with a slightly higher tech replacement.’
    • ‘Practical application filled the last two days, as the leathernecks fired computerized scenarios and practiced on the tracking and firing systems at an outdoor trainer.’
    • ‘However, while there is no denying that he has high regard for leathernecks, he does provide ample examples of Navy and Army actions.’
    • ‘However, the leathernecks are technically a part of the Navy, which has SEALs as their representatives in the Special Operations Command.’
    • ‘Most Marines are familiar with Burke Davis's 1962 account of Puller's life, but fellow leatherneck Jon T. Hoffman has produced what is likely to become the definitive biography of this extraordinary officer.’


Late 19th century: with allusion to the leather lining inside the collar of a marine's uniform.