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 is wearing a silk scarf around her neck’
    [as modifier] ‘the neck muscles’
    • ‘I pictured the huge flightless bird with a lofty, slender neck and beady eyes.’
    • ‘She was given a neck brace and taken to the hospital on a stretcher.’
    • ‘She is suffering from whiplash and is wearing a neck brace as a precaution.’
    • ‘He suffered a neck injury that led to the end of his playing career.’
    • ‘He of course, took this as an invitation to kiss her exposed neck.’
    • ‘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 got up and massaged her tight neck muscles.’
    • ‘She tilted the girl's neck to the side, leaving the jugular exposed.’
    • ‘She stretched her long, graceful neck out to me and I drew back a little.’
    • ‘I wiped the back of my bare, sweaty neck with my hand.’
    • ‘Whispering my name once again, he tilted my head to the side, and kissed my bare neck.’
    • ‘I wanted to wring his scrawny little neck.’
    • ‘Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles.’
    • ‘I grabbed the bars again, and craned my stiff neck to look out as far as I could.’
    • ‘He wrenched him around and grasped his scrawny neck in a dangerously tight headlock.’
    • ‘Viridian enquires as she pats the dragon's thick, scaly neck.’
    • ‘He went back to watching TV, rubbing his stiff neck.’
    • ‘Pull your shoulders down while leaning your head to each side to stretch your neck muscles.’
    • ‘He drew his sword in one swift motion and prepared to slash it into the woman's exposed neck.’
    • ‘He nuzzled my neck for a moment before raising his head.’
    • ‘The hangman miscalculated the drop and the man's neck was not broken.’
    nape, scruff
    scrag, halse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The part of a shirt, dress, or other garment that is around or close to the neck.
      ‘her dress had three buttons at the neck undone’
      ‘a polo neck’
      • ‘He was wearing a navy blue button neck polo shirt, worn blue jeans with a tear on the right leg and trainers.’
      • ‘Our favourite V - neck woolly jumper wearing lads are back to reclaim their throne.’
      • ‘"Yeah, OK, as long as I can use your halter neck.’
      • ‘Today he was wearing a cobalt button-down casual shirt with a collar neck.’
      • ‘Her pride and joy was a white polo neck sweater, white trousers and knee length jerkin.’
      • ‘He tugged at the neck of his turtleneck sweater feeling like it was a noose tightening with each attack.’
      • ‘She was wearing a thick polo neck sweater, but beneath it she wore next to nothing.’
      • ‘I'd downed three mouthfuls so far and was starting to sweat through my polo neck sweater.’
      • ‘There was a piece of metal about this big stuck in the neck piece of my vest.’
      • ‘Choose wide, open or low-cut necks, which create length.’
      • ‘The man picked up the three turtle necks and started to ring them up.’
      • ‘Allison then put on her tight black Capri pants and her red turtle neck.’
      • ‘I pulled the neck of my gown close about me and asked: ‘You guys sure you want to be out in this?’’
      • ‘Does she want me to dress in turtle necks and jeans all the time?’
      • ‘He caught hold of the neck of the offending garment and ripped it clean to the hem.’
      • ‘I went through my wardrobe for a short denim skirt and a white halter neck.’
      • ‘She flicked through the dresses until a sky-blue halter neck dress caught her eye.’
      • ‘Putting the logo on the sleeve or the neck is a popular, fresh approach that especially suits camp shirts.’
      • ‘Tonight, Raven wore a silky red blouse with a high neck secured with gold buttons and enlaced with gold trimming.’
    2. 1.2 Meat from an animal's neck.
      ‘neck of lamb made an excellent stew’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They had no bed, breakfast was bread and water and dinner was a bowl of rice with chicken carcass or turkey neck.’
      • ‘What next - peppered shark or ostrich neck marinated in Calvados?’
      • ‘Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water.’
      • ‘You need best end of neck lamb chops but don't over-trim them; leave a little fat on for flavour.’
      • ‘Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns, reserved duck necks and remaining duck or goose fat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Go for sweet-tasting neck fillets and simply sauté them in olive oil with onions, garlic and some chunky carrots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For beef, good casserole cuts are shin, brisket, neck, topside, thick flank or shoulder.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 A person's neck regarded as bearing a burden of responsibility or guilt for something.
      ‘he'll be stuck with a loan around his 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Republicans clearly hope the same millstone can be hung around Kerry's neck this year.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘This is what happens when a government starts breathing down banks' necks - and maybe it's not such a bad thing.’
      • ‘That is like a millstone around his neck and one that made him a tad tetchy when the subject was inevitably raised again yesterday.’
      • ‘Hanging blame for the Northern Bank raid around the necks of the Sinn Fein leadership has clear political advantages for the taoiseach.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The chain of parenthood just got tighter around my neck as now I actually have to pay attention more than half of the time.’
      • ‘It was like a thousand albatrosses around England supporters' necks every five minutes.’
      • ‘Milnrow Parish Church is a millstone around its parishioners necks, says the vicar, the Rev Robin Usher.’
      • ‘You've been nothing but a ball and chain of heartache and hurt hanging around my neck for too many Godforsaken years.’
      • ‘And it's not just individuals who are trying to avoid having any albatross hung around their neck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A country like the United States, they give them enough rope to tie the noose around their neck several times.’
      • ‘Who wants a heavy burden that hangs around your neck for years like a dead raccoon?’
      • ‘Sorry to use a cliché but it can't be a weight around our neck.’
  • 2A narrow part of something, resembling a neck in shape or position.

    • ‘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.
      • ‘Instead, she fitted a funnel attachment to the neck of the red bottle.’
      • ‘She reached beside her and wrapped her fingers around the neck of a large pouch that she had to fill with water.’
      • ‘Carlotta wrapped her slender fingers around the neck of the vase sitting next to her husband's chair.’
      • ‘The necks of old port bottles, for example, usually have a slightly bulbous form.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then he tore the cloth and soaked the torn ends in gasoline, and then stuffed them in the neck of each bottle.’
      • ‘She placed her hand around the neck of the bottle and dragged it towards her.’
      • ‘My hand trembled, the neck of the bottle knocked against the rim of the glass.’
      • ‘She stabbed another student with a broken bottle neck.’
      • ‘She said Gavin, then 17, had been seen waving a bottle by its neck.’
      • ‘He held the bottle by its neck, and unscrewed the cap and dropped it.’
      • ‘I picked candle wax where it had run down the neck of the wine bottle and hardened.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One broke off the neck of the bottle in order to release the ointment.’
      • ‘The final straw came when the wine waiter let a single drop fall from the neck of the bottle on to the table.’
      • ‘Men tilting their pints and liquor gurgling out of the neck of the bottles in a steamy smoke-filled American pub.’
      • ‘She ran towards it and picked up a hefty bottle by the neck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Grasping the broken bottle by its neck, he slashed at the crazed slayer with it.’
    2. 2.2 A narrow piece of terrain or sea, such as an isthmus, channel, or pass.
      • ‘It stood at the head of the spur, and was linked to the mass of the mountains by a broad neck.’
      • ‘After about twenty five minutes we passed through the narrow neck leading into Eagle bay.’
      • ‘A narrow neck of land at the southeast corner of the peninsula connects it with the adjacent upland.’
      • ‘To divert Turkish attention, the Royal Naval Division would make a feint attack at Bulair, at the narrow neck of the peninsula.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      sound, arm, narrows, passage, sea passage, stretch of water, waterway
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    3. 2.3Anatomy A narrow part near one end of an organ such as the uterus.
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘Changes in the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip were similar in both groups.’
      • ‘Density mass was determined by measuring the femoral necks and the lumbar spine.’
      • ‘However, results may be limited, because the bladder neck and median prostate lobe cannot be treated.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In-hospital mortality after admission for fractured neck of femur is 13 % in England.’
      • ‘The bulking agent is injected periurethrally or transurethrally under the submucosa to bulk the tissues around the bladder neck.’
      • ‘Bone density measurements at the hip and femoral neck were also significantly lower in the anorexia nervosa group.’
      • ‘The narrow neck of the uterus is called the cervix.’
      • ‘For example, figure 3 depicts an orthopaedics unit reviewing its care for patients with fractured neck of femur.’
      • ‘Despite being large the neck of the hernia is narrow, however, only surgery can correct it.’
    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 European bowed string instrument with a neck and resonator carved from a single piece of wood.’
      • ‘I could never play it though I was always hypnotized by how people could strum the cords and work the neck of the guitar.’
      • ‘I ran my fingers down the neck of the guitar, relishing how smooth and polished it felt.’
      • ‘D.J. steepled his fingers against the neck of his guitar, and then bent them over the chords.’
      • ‘A single musician played a sprightly tune on a curious stringed instrument with two necks.’
      • ‘The Bard pulled up, hands reaching for the strings and neck of the lute.’
    5. 2.5Architecture
      another term for necking
    6. 2.6often volcanic neckGeology A column of solidified lava or igneous rock formed in a volcanic vent, especially when exposed by erosion.
      • ‘Wingrock soils are on low fan terraces below volcanic necks and associated dikes.’
      • ‘These four landform types are called lava flows, volcanic peaks, calderas, and volcanic necks.’
      • ‘Devils Tower, Wyoming, is probably a volcanic neck but might also be a laccolith.’
      • ‘The first few of these volcanic necks are identified as rhyolite, a light colored rock.’
      • ‘Climbers had been daunted by this 1,700-foot volcanic neck for years; at least one had died trying to reach the top.’
      • ‘Devil's Tower in Wyoming is one of several exposed volcanic necks in the area.’
      • ‘A volcanic neck is simply the hardened magma in the ‘pipe’ or central channel of a volcano.’
      • ‘This volcanic neck is located a few miles south of Tuff Canyon on the west side of the road.’
      • ‘A beautiful example of a volcanic neck is Shiprock Mountain, New Mexico shown in picture 4.’
      • ‘Over here is Belougery Spire, OK, and that's an old volcanic neck.’
      • ‘To the south of this valley are many more volcanic necks which have unusual shapes and color.’
      • ‘These volcanic necks are the remnants of upwelling lava from the cores of active volcanoes in prehistoric times.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These volcanic necks are what remain of the volcanic ‘throat’ after surrounding sediment and pyroclastic material has been stripped away.’
      • ‘The western range, called the Black Mountains, is a rugged terrain with numerous volcanic necks and lava flows.’
      • ‘The ore body is brecciated and may represent the filling of a volcanic neck or pipe.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sometimes volcanic necks are locally referred to as a butte.’
    7. 2.7Botany A narrow supporting part in a plant, especially the terminal part of the fruiting body in a fern, bryophyte, or fungus.
      • ‘Stem growth should also be absent and the neck and base of the bulb should be firm and rot free.’
      • ‘Earlier works were focused only on formation of coated buds connected to the initial membrane by narrow membrane necks.’
  • 3The length of a horse's head and neck as a measure of its lead in a race.

    ‘the colt won the 122nd running of the Midsummer Derby by a neck’
    • ‘But he ran some good races in defeat before winning at Goodwood by a neck from Swinbrook.’
    • ‘Gaelic Dream edged Just Heavens Gate by a neck for the second spot in the race for three-year-olds and older.’
    • ‘Her only loss was a second-place finish by a neck in an allowance race on May 9 at Lyon-Parilly.’
    • ‘And the tactic pays off as Fire Up The Band just holds off the fast-finishing The Tatling to win by a neck.’
    • ‘Stoway won by a neck, with Takas and Vital Agreement finishing in a dead heat for second.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Guided Tour was the runner-up, one length behind the winner and a neck ahead of Golden Missile.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But he accelerated superbly to lead just after the last and eased down to win by a neck.’
    • ‘Kicking King edged out Monkerhostin by a neck on Monday to win the King George VI Chase at Sandown.’
    • ‘Dunmurry King 5/1 which had come in as a reserve was a neck further away third.’
    • ‘But Hughes didn't give up and Screwdriver gave one last push to win by a neck.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Victory Smile was second, with Magic Winner a short neck behind in third.’
    • ‘On her latest outing Jamie Mackay's mount swept through to lead inside the final furlong and win by a neck from Astrocharm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After being ninth with a furlong left to run, War Chant rallied six wide to win by a neck.’
    • ‘Indian Creek came from nowhere to claim the Hardwicke Stakes, winning by a neck from Bollin Eric in a thrilling finish.’
    • ‘The filly prevailed by a short head, with Chorist a neck away in third.’
    • ‘Simington guided Coalhouse to a neck win in the ninth race at Louisiana Downs to reach the milestone.’


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

    ‘we started necking on the sofa’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We watched the intro, which is a great, colourful and enticing cavalcade of various scenarios: people dancing, doing yoga, necking and so on.’
    • ‘Soon enough, she's necking passionately with the hot young author whose latest book she's been hired to work on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You respond to physical stimulation, enjoy necking and spending hours just touching, feeling and exploring.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are an unlikely couple to be necking on the street.’
    • ‘She gets crushes on girls, or her gay male friends, though she spends a lot of time necking with a cross dresser named Curry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The bus stops in Oklahoma and Sal meets a girl with whom he necks all the way to Indianapolis.’
    • ‘I will name, also, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr necking on the beach in From Here to Eternity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, middle-aged people shouldn't be necking on TV; this is rule number-one.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No worries, Mom - I think I've outgrown necking at my parents' house.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ear-licking, necking in bushes, it's all there.’
  • 2[no 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.’
  • 3British informal [with object] Swallow (something, especially a drink)

    ‘after necking some beers, we left the bar’
    • ‘After sleeping for most of the day and necking another handful of the same vitamin pills as yesterday, I'm feeling a lot better.’
    • ‘I did run around a lot, eat a fair amount of food, neck a reasonable amount of champagne, and get fairly merry all up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘Ah well, I'll just blame it on the bourbon I've been necking all evening…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was ordering two at a time and necking them like it was last orders in a Nottingham nightclub.’
    • ‘Not to mention a weekend necking more Nurofen than is strictly recommended.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Apparently, Austin is responsible for necking one per cent of the tequila bought in the US - about five times the average.’
    • ‘They recommend passengers embarking on long flights neck an aspirin beforehand to avoid Economy Class Syndrome.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course there's nothing wrong with necking a few beers and getting caught up in the buzz of the World Cup.’
    • ‘The boy grins and necks a pill that won't be invented again for another seven years.’
    • ‘She then returned alone into the pub, necked her drink, stared at everyone in threatening manner and left to puzzled looks all round.’
    • ‘‘Nearly everyone I know necks a few pints to get into the mood,’ Ian said.’
    • ‘Usually I neck it with a big glass of orange juice just before my bacon roll during our morning tea break.’
    swallow, gulp down, quaff, swill, guzzle, sup
    View synonyms


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