\ ˈnek How to pronounce neck (audio) \

Definition of neck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the part of an animal that connects the head with the body
(2) : the siphon of a bivalve mollusk (such as a clam)
b : the part of a garment that covers or is next to the neck
2 : a relatively narrow part suggestive of a neck: such as
a(1) : the constricted end of a bottle
(2) : the slender proximal end of a fruit
c : the part of a stringed musical instrument extending from the body and supporting the fingerboard and strings
d : a narrow stretch of land
f : the part of a tooth between the crown and the root — see tooth illustration
g : a column of solidified magma of a volcanic pipe or laccolith
3 : a narrow margin won by a neck
4 : region, part my neck of the woods


necked; necking; necks

Definition of neck (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to kiss and caress amorously
2 : to reduce in diameter

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in amorous kissing and caressing
2 : to become constricted : narrow

Synonyms for neck

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of neck in a Sentence

Noun She craned her neck to see what was going on. A giraffe is an animal with a very long neck. He broke his neck in the accident. He likes T-shirts with round necks. He grabbed the neck of the bottle. Verb The young lovers necked on the park bench. They were necking in the corner of the room.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun First cousin to the snood, dickeys similarly eliminate the need for wearing bulky scarves or turtlenecks by shielding your neck from bitter winds, while also serving as a mini sweater vest that looks on-point during Zoom meetings. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 7 Jan. 2022 Go for the Arc'teryx Chunky Knit Hat to keep your ears warm, and pair it with the Smartwool Merino 150 Gaiter to protect your neck from harsh temperatures. Eden Lichterman, Travel + Leisure, 6 Jan. 2022 Lawrence Police officers found Anderson on the ground outside his Cadillac suffering from a gunshot wound to his neck, investigators said in a probable cause affidavit. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Jan. 2022 The mother suffered minor injuries to her neck and was aided by a rescue squad. cleveland, 6 Jan. 2022 The trap that still tops best-of lists is roughly the same as the one patented by James Henry Atkinson in 1899: a cheap quick-release spring that's triggered by a naive rodent, and instantly snaps its neck. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 5 Jan. 2022 The officer then knelt on Badr’s back, and grabbed his neck and forced him face-down on the pavement while two other officers also knelt on Badr’s back as he was handcuffed, the suit said. NBC News, 5 Jan. 2022 The Giants’ offense struggled even before Daniel Jones injured his neck, and has not had more than 200 yards passing in a game since early November. New York Times, 30 Dec. 2021 Brown left the Stony Brook game at halftime after being sacked on back-to-back plays and appearing to favor his neck. oregonlive, 30 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yoga has been shown to improve back and neck pain when performed with care and an attention to detail. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, 16 Dec. 2021 Customers who struggle with everything from insomnia to chronic migraines to neck pain say the Casper pillow has relieved it all, and helped lull them into their deepest sleep yet. Christina Butan,, 26 Nov. 2021 Farmers used motorboats and Jet Skis to rescue cattle — many of them neck deep in cold floodwaters — but officials said that not all livestock were saved. Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2021 Women of any age with chronic back and neck pain due to large breasts may be candidates for breast reduction surgery. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 9 Nov. 2021 Some lotions are for faces only; just make sure to coat your nose, ears and neck too. Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2021 Makers of ultramodern massage chairs are engaged in an arms (and back and neck) race to find new, and sometimes esoteric ways to attract, unknot and de-stress customers. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2021 It's ergonomically designed to support your back and neck even while you're seated for what seems like an eternity. Summer Cartwright,, 22 June 2021 The wide brim measures about 3.7 inches around to keep your face and neck out of the sun. Chris Hachey, BGR, 11 June 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1842, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for neck


Middle English nekke, from Old English hnecca; akin to Old High German hnac nape

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Time Traveler for neck

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The first known use of neck was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near neck



neck ail

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Neck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for neck



English Language Learners Definition of neck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of the body between the head and the shoulders
: the part of a piece of clothing that fits around your neck
: a long and narrow part of something : a part that is shaped like a neck



English Language Learners Definition of neck (Entry 2 of 2)

: to kiss for a long time in a sexual way


\ ˈnek How to pronounce neck (audio) \

Kids Definition of neck

1 : the part of the body between the head and the shoulders
2 : the section of a garment covering or nearest to the part connecting the head with the body
3 : something that is long and narrow or that connects two larger parts a neck of land the neck of a bottle
neck and neck
: so nearly equal (as in a race or election) that one cannot be said to be ahead of the other

Other Words from neck

necked \ ˈnekt \ adjective


\ ˈnek How to pronounce neck (audio) \

Medical Definition of neck

1a : the usually narrowed part of an animal that connects the head with the body specifically : the cervical region of a vertebrate
b : the part of a tapeworm immediately behind the scolex from which new proglottids are produced
2 : a relatively narrow part suggestive of a neck: as
a : a narrow part of a bone the neck of the femur
c : the part of a tooth between the crown and the root

More from Merriam-Webster on neck

Nglish: Translation of neck for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neck for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about neck


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