\ 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 Police described the suspect as an Asian man in his 30s with a shaved head and a tattoo on the right side of his neck. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Reward is offered for capture of would-be robber who shot Edina doctor," 15 Sep. 2020 The operation, which took eight hours, involved surgeons inserting eight-inch titanium rods into each side of her spine and one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of her neck. Monique Jessen,, "Princess Eugenie Shares Powerful Scoliosis Surgery Photos to Inspire Others: 'Scars Are Beautiful'," 11 Sep. 2020 After Nelson returned later, Barclay Goodrow cross-checked him in the back of the neck, a play that went uncalled. Stephen Whyno,, "Nikita Kucherov scores with under 9 seconds left in 2-1 Lightning victory over Islanders for 2-0 edge in Eastern finals," 10 Sep. 2020 Police say that man, Charles Williams, fired a bullet through Ceaser’s jaw, tearing through his throat and lodging itself in the right side of his neck. Ramon Antonio Vargas | Staff Writer,, "New Orleans man dies more than 2 years after stranger on rampage shot him in face, coroner says," 9 Sep. 2020 Selena pauses to brush the back of her neck with her palm. Jessica Chia, Allure, "Selena Gomez Is in Full Control of Her Life," 9 Sep. 2020 Agnew appears as a Klansman’s hood with slits for eyes and pins in the back of his neck. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Anger at Donald Trump may turn great artists into political cartoonists. It’s happened before.," 4 Sep. 2020 Comedian Jerry Seinfeld grabbed this debate by the scruff of the neck in an op-ed throwdown in The New York Times. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Reports on the death of cities maybe premature," 30 Aug. 2020 Of course, my mother snuggled my head into the crook of her neck! Ellen Pall, The New York Review of Books, "To Recover Mother," 25 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those protests started with the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his back and neck for about nine minutes. Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic, "Ammon Bundy's new anti-government standoff: Mask mandates and quarantines," 28 Aug. 2020 In another act, she was tied, bound feet to neck, to a pole. Longreads, "On Vanishing," 14 Apr. 2020 One officer appears to briefly apply pressure onto the man’s back or neck with his body before adjusting his weight. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "City leaders call for investigation into arrest of protester; Milwaukee police seek to calm tensions," 4 June 2020 According to NBC News, the data shows that three-fifths of those subjected to neck restraints and rendered unconscious were black. Autumn Schoolman, USA TODAY, "Several police departments nationwide have banned the use of deadly neck restraint technique," 3 June 2020 Grosvenor Wotkyns pops up on our list again as of one of several people who experimented in the late 1930s with rounds based on the Savage 250/3000 case necked down to .224 caliber. Mike Dickerson, Field & Stream, "10 Wildcat Calibers That Made the Grade," 22 Jan. 2020 Some 200 million years ago, a long-necked, plant-munching dinosaur called Massospondylus carinatus laid a clutch of eggs. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Digital Reconstructions Reveal 200-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Embryo’s Unusual Teeth," 13 Apr. 2020 So Winchester engineers straightened the side walls of the .375 H&H belted case, shortened it to fit standard-length actions, sharpened the shoulder to 25-degrees, and necked it down to hold .338-inch bullets. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "Best Calibers For Africa Plains Game," 13 Jan. 2020 Many teenagers are choosing to focus on good grades and wholesome extracurricular activities instead of necking WKDs, or each other. 1843, "The case against hard seltzer," 27 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for neck

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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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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