\ 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 Astronaut Mark Vande Hei originally planned to join Hoshide for Sunday's spacewalk, then scheduled for early September, but the outing was delayed after Vande Hei developed a pinched nerve in his neck. William Harwood, CBS News, 12 Sep. 2021 By December of 2007, Wersland was unable to move due to pain in his neck and on the right side of his body. Jeff Fedotin, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 The thyroid is a gland located in your neck that largely controls your body's metabolism by regulating your hormones. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 6 Sep. 2021 By the time Gabriel catches up, the Reaper is dying, bleeding out from a wound in his neck. Nick Romano,, 6 Sep. 2021 The arresting officers said his injuries were self-inflicted, but a medical examiner later said police had fractured the man’s ribs and broken bones in his neck. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 Hilton underwent a surgery to repair a disc issue in his neck that general manager Chris Ballard said was relatively minor and unintrusive, and the veteran wide receiver immediately felt better after the procedure was over. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Sep. 2021 There’s a wolf howling at the moon, pines growing in his neck, a crack in the slab making for a lunar contour, uncountable black dots burning a night sky., 30 Aug. 2021 The investigation found he was shot once in his abdomen and once in his neck, though no gun was found nearby, Becton said. Grace Toohey,, 25 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Our tester reported a reduction in back and neck pain after just a few nights of sleep. Lou Mazzante, Popular Mechanics, 27 May 2021 Before cutting to sponsors, Burke was shown taking a nasty tumble and hitting something (the injury moved from head, to neck, to rotator cuff) while rehearsing her tango with Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 27 Oct. 2020 This means looking for a chair with a back that promotes good posture from your head and neck down. Matt Fleming,, 1 Apr. 2021 At standing height, an adjustable desk can relieve upper back and neck pain and improve your overall mood. Popular Science, 26 Feb. 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

Time Traveler

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

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Neck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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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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