Definition of wryneck in English:



  • 1An Old World bird of the woodpecker family, with brown camouflaged plumage and a habit of twisting and writhing the neck when disturbed.

    • ‘On the same trip to Spain we also caught up with two other birds I most desperately wanted to see: the ring ouzel, another thrush with a restricted range, and the wryneck, a strange-looking and behaving woodpecker.’
    • ‘Some, such as the wryneck, ceased to breed in East Anglia; others, notably the stonechat, all but vanished.’
    • ‘There are many species of woodpeckers, but only two wrynecks, worldwide, but only three woodpeckers and one wryneck (a rare migrant) in the UK.’
    • ‘On 12 th April, 2 hoopoes, 2 wrynecks, a nightingale, 2 citrine wagtails, a black-eared wheatear, 15 redstarts, a whinchat, a robin, a Menetries’ and 23 willow warblers, a spotted flycatcher and 4 scaly-breasted munias were in Mushrif Palace Gardens.’
    • ‘Whether the birds represented oracular nightingales, or wrynecks used as love-charms and rain-inducers, is disputable.’
    • ‘There are two additional subfamilies of the Picidae, Picumninae, which is the sister group of the true woodpeckers, and Jynginae (wrynecks), which is sister to the Picinae-Picumninae clade.’
  • 2

    another term for torticollis
    • ‘Congenital muscular torticollis, also called wryneck, is usually discovered in the first 6 to 8 weeks of life.’
    • ‘If not treated, wryneck may lead to permanent facial deformity or unevenness and to restricted head movement.’
    • ‘Torticollis, also known as wryneck, is a twisting of the neck that causes the head to rotate and tilt at an odd angle.’