bottleneck

adjective
bot·​tle·​neck | \ ˈbä-tᵊl-ˌnek How to pronounce bottleneck (audio) \

Definition of bottleneck

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: narrow bottleneck harbors

bottleneck

noun

Definition of bottleneck (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a narrow route
b : a point of traffic congestion
2a : someone or something that retards or halts free movement and progress
b : impasse
c : a dramatic reduction in the size of a population (as of a species) that results in a decrease in genetic variation
3 : a style of guitar playing in which glissando effects are produced by sliding an object (such as a knife blade or the neck of a bottle) along the strings

called also bottleneck guitar

bottleneck

verb
bottlenecked; bottlenecking; bottlenecks

Definition of bottleneck (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to slow or halt by causing a bottleneck

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Synonyms for bottleneck

Synonyms: Noun

backup, jam, jam-up, logjam, snarl, tailback [British], tie-up

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Examples of bottleneck in a Sentence

Noun

Bridge construction has created a bottleneck on the southern part of Main Street. All decisions must be approved by the committee, and this is where the company runs into bottlenecks.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But reliance on other car companies could become a bottleneck for Waymo. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "GM’s self-driving deal with Honda is a wakeup call for Waymo," 4 Oct. 2018 If maintained at current levels, discounts to Canadian crude caused largely by pipeline bottlenecks could cost producers roughly C$15.6 billion a year, Scotiabank said in a report in February. Houston Chronicle, "Canada's Trudeau seeks talks with Kinder Morgan to get pipeline built," 16 Apr. 2018 Meanwhile, Canadian and U.S. supplies are facing pipeline bottlenecks. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "One Potential Beneficiary of U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela: Iran," 12 Feb. 2019 Somebody in the system is utilizing these bottlenecks and this bureaucracy for their own ends. Vivienne Walt / Baghdad, Time, "Iraq's Prime Minister on the Unfinished Business Left By 15 Years of War," 8 Mar. 2018 The bottleneck has cost the Navy more than five years of submarine patrolling time and $1.5 billion. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Navy Sub Repair Backlog Cost the Service $1.5 Billion, Five Years of Sailing Time," 20 Nov. 2018 One by one, motorists stopped within shooting distance of a bear or wolf or bison, snapped some photos and went on their way to the next photography bottleneck. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Bearizona: Top things to do at drive-thru wildlife park in Williams," 12 July 2018 The world’s biggest container-ship operator by capacity is adopting new digital techniques in order to get the hulking vessels in and out of ports as quickly as possible, an effort aimed at eliminating bottlenecks in supply chains. Costas Paris, WSJ, "With Container Ships Getting Bigger, Maersk Focuses on Getting Faster," 20 Dec. 2018 The Nashville Yards complex is right off the interstate downtown, but that section of I-40 bottlenecks with every wreck, which occurs daily. Cari Wade Gervin, Curbed, "Will Amazon be good for Nashville?," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Since the Coffee Lake chipset can’t support 12 lanes at Gen 3 speeds without bottlenecking, Asus takes eight lanes from the CPU’s direct connect PCIe and uses it for storage, too. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "No, really: Asus' crazy ROG Mothership is like a Surface Pro for gaming," 6 Jan. 2019 The reconstruction of the power grid — bottlenecked by bureaucracy, outdated laws, and potentially corruption — has been unbearably slow. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Puerto Rico’s blackout is now the second largest on record worldwide," 13 Apr. 2018 Traffic will often bottleneck in certain areas — through much of San Marcos in the afternoon and in Escondido and part of San Marcos in the mornings -- causing delays of 10 to 30 minutes. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Highway 78 traffic study asks drivers to slow down to decrease bottlenecks," 19 Mar. 2018 From long waits at Fairmont and the Beltway to bottleneck backups on SH 225, Pasadena residents collectively spend a lot of time in traffic each day. Jennifer Bolton, Houston Chronicle, "Tough traffic spots in Pasadena? Residents say this is where you'll find them.," 27 Feb. 2018 And then there was Act II, in which Elliott’s progress was bottlenecked by the Seattle defense, or maybe by his own coaching staff. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Zeke gains 97 yards in return, but no touches in critical moment," 24 Dec. 2017 The dinner crowd shuttled into the venue and bottlenecked at the bar, appropriately. Tunde Wey, San Francisco Chronicle, "Black women are the future of the food industry," 15 Dec. 2017 The wreck occurred shortly before 2:30 p.m. as traffic bottlenecked in a work zone on I-70 in Kansas. Shane Sanderson Ssanderson@kcstar.com Ellen Cagle And Ian Cummings, kansascity, "Highway Patrol: Truck driver in wreck that killed 5 was driving too fast, not paying attention," 14 July 2017 A smartphone app, known as Sport Evac Lite, will become available as well, so security staff and ushers can see where fans and cars could bottleneck. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "High-tech terror testing keeps game day safe," 2 Feb. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bottleneck.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bottleneck

Adjective

1854, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1919, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for bottleneck

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Time Traveler for bottleneck

The first known use of bottleneck was in 1806

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More Definitions for bottleneck

bottleneck

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bottleneck

: a section of road or highway where the traffic moves very slowly
: something that slows down a process

bottleneck

noun
bot·​tle·​neck | \ ˈbä-tᵊl-ˌnek How to pronounce bottleneck (audio) \

Kids Definition of bottleneck

: a place or condition where improvement or movement is held up That intersection is a traffic bottleneck.

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Comments on bottleneck

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