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

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 The problem wasn’t saber-rattling by President Trump, but rather the difficulty of rebalancing the Chinese economy after decades of breakneck expansion. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Trade War or Peace, Europe Can’t Escape a Chinese Slowdown," 3 Dec. 2018 The country’s breakneck economic expansion created legions of wealthy consumers keen to flaunt their newfound status. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, "Luxury Sales Are Rebounding in China. Just Not in Stores.," 7 June 2018 While her father, brothers, and much of the political class keep up a breakneck campaign-trail pace, Ivanka seems to be sticking to her day job. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Ivanka Trump's Curious Absence From the Midterm Campaign Trail," 29 Oct. 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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Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

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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

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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