\ ˈnek \

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

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Synonyms for neck

Synonyms: Noun

belt, corridor, land, part(s), region, tract, zone

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Examples of neck in a Sentence


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.


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

The weight, still there, only seemed to be redistributing itself — from my stomach to my neck, my boobs, my hips. Marianne Garvey, Good Housekeeping, "My Baby Completely Robbed Me of My Looks," 13 Nov. 2018 For example, the author tells of Mary of Exeter, a pigeon that arrived home from Europe with rips to her neck and the right of her breast, having been attacked by a hawk. Hilda Kean, WSJ, "‘Operation Columba’ Review: Carriers of Hope," 7 Nov. 2018 On the beach, Michael’s entire body had been buried up to his neck. Caitlin Wolper, Teen Vogue, "Hookworms Buried Themselves Into a Tennessee Teen's Skin," 28 July 2018 The other survived the brutal attack with injuries to her neck. Niema Jordan, Glamour, "Why We Can't Afford to Ignore the Killing of Oakland Teenager Nia Wilson," 27 July 2018 An autopsy found wounds to her neck, back, upper chest and face. CBS News, "Popular DJ accused of killing elementary school teacher in 1992," 26 June 2018 Authorities called to the scene found the man, Troy George Skinner, sprawled in a neighboring yard with a non life-threatening gunshot wound to the neck. Jeff Truesdell,, "Va. Mom Shoots Man Who Allegedly Flew from New Zealand to See Her Daughter, 14, Who'd Quit Messaging Him Online," 26 June 2018 Police later recovered a Coca-Cola can, according to the warrant, that Hernandez-Caseres drank out of and matched his DNA to his victim's neck and left hand. Martin Vassolo And Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Man killed two women in Miami, dumped bodies on street, police say," 18 June 2018 And then Jay-Z wanders the halls of the Louvre wearing an even bigger chain and an even more double-breasted suit (this one’s lapels are hiked up almost to his neck), in a shiny gold silk. Liz Raiss, GQ, "Jay-Z Brought His Entire Suit Collection to the "APES**T" Video," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Think of a sauropod, and a species like Brachiosaurus may come to mind: Long-necked, long-tailed, straight-legged with giant bodies and small heads. Amina Khan,, "These long-necked, elephant-sized dinosaurs arose long before Brachiosaurus," 9 July 2018 Her dress, with a flowing train 16-feet long, was pure white, boat-necked, and minimal., "After generations of aristocratic weddings, one reflects modern Britain," 19 May 2018 That improvement will help address bottle-necking around the small streets of Gilbert's popular downtown. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Parks, roads and more: 7 projects on the horizon for Gilbert taxpayers," 10 May 2018 Long-necked with eyelashes to die for just like her parents, the baby giraffe's umbilical cord was still attached on Tuesday. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Zoo's latest resident is 6 feet, 1 inch of adorableness," 22 May 2018 In one corner, a business-casual couple were necking in a cozy booth over white wine and small plates of charred swordfish. Tas Tobey, New York Times, "New Speakeasy Memorializes an Old-School Journalist Haunt," 31 Jan. 2018 There’s the annual molt, during which even the crows are disheveled and pencil-necked. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why every writer needs a tree," 13 Sep. 2017 Researchers on Wednesday described fossils of a long-necked, four-legged, meat-eating reptile called Teleocrater rhadinus. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Secret White House Visits: Now Easier Than Ever!," 14 Apr. 2017 There's a lot of rubber-necking going on because fans on both sides are into what's happening with the programs. John Canzano,, "Ducks and Beavers football programs provide summer fireworks," 19 May 2017

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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Statistics for neck

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for neck

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

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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)

old-fashioned + informal : to kiss for a long time in a sexual way


\ ˈnek \

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 \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on neck

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neck

Spanish Central: Translation of neck

Nglish: Translation of neck for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on neck

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


a servile follower or underling

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