\ 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

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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 However, that midfield cratering, combined with Marcelo's neck injury, ensures that the sideline curse continues to plague the Frenchman., "Marcelo Ruled Out of PSG Clash as Real Madrid's Injury Crisis Worsens," 16 Sep. 2019 The absence of cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee sprain), as well as slot cornerback Tavon Young’s season-ending neck injury, looms ominously ahead of next week’s trip to Arrowhead Stadium. Jonas Shaffer,, "In another historic performance, Lamar Jackson fuses old and new to power Ravens’ 23-17 win vs. Cardinals," 16 Sep. 2019 Minnesota traded for Cronin early in their 2017 MLS expansion season, and the nine-year veteran helped stabilize a club in its infancy, playing in 18 games before head and neck injuries curtailed his career. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Darwin Quintero stars in Minnesota United’s 3-1 win over Salt Lake," 15 Sep. 2019 Unfortunately for the Colts, second-year situational pass rusher Kemoko Turay was downgraded to out on Saturday with a neck injury. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 13 things to watch in Colts vs. Titans game," 14 Sep. 2019 Rice update: Harvard graduate transfer Tom Stewart will start for the Owls with Wiley Green ruled out due to a head/neck injury. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "College football preview: No. 12 Texas at Rice," 13 Sep. 2019 Rice update: Harvard graduate transfer Tom Stewart will start for the Owls with Wiley Green ruled out because of a head/neck injury. Nick Moyle,, "Texas’ Tom Herman and Yancy McKnight back in familiar territory at Rice," 13 Sep. 2019 Enunwa out for year Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa’s season is over after his second neck injury in just over two years., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 12 Sep. 2019 Quincy Enunwa is out for the season with a neck injury. Danielle Allentuck, New York Times, "Sam Darnold Out Indefinitely With Mono," 12 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The closing look elicited raised eyebrows and naked admiration in equal measure: a full-length pink gown with copious bunches that could best be described as a boat-necked marshmallow. Washington Post, "Dreamy, confident shows mark London Fashion Week," 15 Sep. 2019 All conspiracies aside, according to CNN, the animal in the video is indeed a bird – an African White-necked Raven who is coincidentally named Mischief. Ricky Pinela,, "Bird or rabbit? This real-life optical illusion is confusing a lot of people," 22 Aug. 2019 The femur bone is over six feet long and is thought to have belonged to a sauropod -- a subgroup of herbivorous, long-necked and four-legged dinosaurs common in the Jurassic era. Leah Asmelash And Brian Ries, CNN, "New bone, who dis? Paleontologists say this femur belongs to one of the biggest dinosaurs of all time," 26 July 2019 The American actress embraced her new British role in a sleek white silk boat-necked dress designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller., "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are married in Windsor," 19 May 2018 The giraffes with longer necks were more successful in getting food and produced more longer-necked offspring. Quanta Magazine, "Can Darwinian Evolution Explain Lamarckism?," 11 May 2017 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

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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More Definitions for neck


How to pronounce neck (audio)

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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on neck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neck

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to speed up the process or progress of

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