\ 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

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

Instead of letting the game go down as a cancellation or a forfeit, Leavell put down his microphone and put a whistle around his neck. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Bill Leavell was the human computer, but he was all about the people, not the numbers," 5 Sep. 2019 The woman, who was captured on surveillance cameras, is white and has a tattoo on the back of her neck that looks like the sun, police said. Christine Dempsey,, "Windsor police seek woman linked to antique violin theft," 3 Sep. 2019 Lily-Rose Depp Lily-Rose Depp, who appears in The King alongside Timothée, chose a pale lavender strapless gown for the Festival, tying a matching scarf around her neck in place of jewelry. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Timothée Chalamet's Tuxedo and Lizzo's Denim Bustier Made My Weekend," 3 Sep. 2019 De Bruyne looks like a player who is making up for lost time after his injury problems last season, and the Belgian midfielder has grabbed the Premier League by the scruff of its neck at the start of this campaign., "Manchester City 4-0 Brighton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Clinical Citizens Cruise Past Seagulls," 31 Aug. 2019 But when Taboas stepped out of the vehicle, his officer’s badge visible around his neck, Gonzalez’s eyes grew wide. Karine Aigner, National Geographic, "Songbirds are being snatched from Miami’s forests," 25 July 2019 The other slipped a braided bedsheet around his neck and tightened it. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California," 20 July 2019 Police said the man has three teardrops tattooed under his right eye, an 8-ball tattoo on the left side of his neck and a white supremacist triskele tattoo on the top of his right hand. Hannah Fry,, "Man impersonated officer to pull over woman and sexually assault her, police say," 10 July 2019 The victim suffered minor injuries to their back of their neck and was taken to the hospital. Adam Sennott,, "Cambridge police search for suspect in fitness class stabbing," 21 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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



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

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).


concealment of treason or felony

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