\ ˈnāp How to pronounce nape (audio) , ˈnap How to pronounce nape (audio) \

Definition of nape

: the back of the neck

Examples of nape in a Sentence

Her hair was tied back at the nape of her neck.

Recent Examples on the Web

If your hair is short, repeat the steps, but smooth your hair down towards the nape for a similar vibe. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Bumble and bumble and Christian Cowan Collaborate on Fanny Pack for Spring/Summer 2019 Collection," 9 Sep. 2018 A few fingers up and down their spine, down the nape of their neck, or hovering around their cheeks and jaw. Bernadette Anat, Seventeen, "How to Kiss: 20 Secrets Good Kissers Know," 2 Aug. 2018 Her stunning new body art is a vine with leaves that runs from the nape of her neck down her spine to the small of her back. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Halle Berry Shows Off Her Massive New Back Tattoo with a Stripped-Down Instagram," 5 Mar. 2019 Pay extra attention to the hair at the nape of your neck, which tends to need a little more styling product. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Meghan Markle Styling Her Own Hair?," 31 Jan. 2019 The bun was low and securely pinned to the nape of her neck, her hair was parted right down the middle, and a few face-framing tendrils were loosely curled and left free to add movement and soften the look. Andrea Park, Allure, "Meghan Markle Wears A Bun that Looks Just Like Her Wedding Hair," 3 Oct. 2018 Loosely pull hair into a ponytail just above the nape of the neck. Jennifer Tzeses, Woman's Day, "10 Stylish Ways to Wear a Ponytail," 19 Aug. 2013 Place your hands at the nape of your neck, lift your head, and extend your legs to the sky. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "This Body-Sculpting Workout Is Top-Model-Approved—And Ready for the Holidays," 20 Nov. 2018 The This Is Us star wore her hair slicked back with a braid that started from the nape of the neck, traveled up the curve of her head, and came across her forehead. Allure, "The Most Exciting Hair and Makeup Looks on the 2018 Emmy Awards Red Carpet," 17 Sep. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nape

Middle English

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Dictionary Entries near nape


napa thistle






Statistics for nape

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for nape

The first known use of nape was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for nape



English Language Learners Definition of nape

: the back of the neck


\ ˈnāp How to pronounce nape (audio) \

Kids Definition of nape

: the back of the neck


\ ˈnāp also ˈnap\

Medical Definition of nape

: the back of the neck

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More from Merriam-Webster on nape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nape

Spanish Central: Translation of nape

Nglish: Translation of nape for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nape for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nape

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


a tendency to relapse

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