break·​neck | \ ˈbrāk-ˈnek How to pronounce breakneck (audio) \

Definition of breakneck

: very fast or dangerous breakneck speed

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Examples of breakneck in a Sentence

the breakneck production of naval vessels during World War II

Recent Examples on the Web

The breakneck pace of hiring slumped in February, a sign that U.S. growth is cooling, though strong wage growth and earlier robust job gains suggest the economy’s near decadelong expansion will endure. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "Hiring Slumps, Though Broad Picture Suggests Expansion Will Continue," 8 Mar. 2019 Judging by the breakneck trailer, Violet embarks on a whirlwind tour that tests her mettle in every way. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Elle Fanning Stars in "Teen Spirit" Trailer as a Pop Star," 27 Dec. 2018 And items were selling fast, the register beeping at a breakneck clip as tourists snapped up mementos of their visit. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "The 5 most ridiculously capitalist souvenirs for sale at Karl Marx’s 200th birthday party," 5 May 2018 Supporting the confidence of hedge funds and other money managers: signs that heavyweight producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are cutting output and the breakneck expansion in U.S. shale drilling is slowing down. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "Battered Oil Investors Dive Back Into Crude," 31 Jan. 2019 After devastating allegations of physical abuse led to the resignation of Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general, a breakneck race to replace him began. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "Nixon Tops Working Families Ticket, but Party Remains at ‘Crossroads’," 19 May 2018 In the era of Trump, McConnell is committed to doing the exact opposite — with the goal of jamming through judicial nominees at a breakneck pace. Li Zhou, Vox, "Trump has gotten 66 judges confirmed this year. In his second year, Obama had gotten 49.," 27 Dec. 2018 Most economists said the chances of a recession next year are low, but a growing number are pessimistic that economic growth will be able to continue 2018’s breakneck pace, part of which was fueled by a sweeping corporate tax cut. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Dow Industrials Leap More Than 1,000 Points," 26 Dec. 2018 Its free-to-play nature, combined with developer Epic Games’ breakneck update pace, allowed the game to flourish, constantly changing in ways both obvious and unexpected. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The year in Fortnite," 18 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breakneck.' 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 breakneck

1562, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for breakneck

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breakneck

The first known use of breakneck was in 1562

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More Definitions for breakneck



English Language Learners Definition of breakneck

: very fast : dangerously fast


break·​neck | \ ˈbrāk-ˌnek How to pronounce breakneck (audio) \

Kids Definition of breakneck

: very fast or dangerous breakneck speed

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More from Merriam-Webster on breakneck

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breakneck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breakneck

Spanish Central: Translation of breakneck

Comments on breakneck

What made you want to look up breakneck? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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