rubberneck

1 of 2

noun

rub·​ber·​neck ˈrə-bər-ˌnek How to pronounce rubberneck (audio)
1
: an overly inquisitive person
2
: tourist
especially : one on a guided tour

rubberneck

2 of 2

verb

rubbernecked; rubbernecking; rubbernecks

intransitive verb

1
: to look about or stare with exaggerated curiosity
drivers passing the accident slowed down to rubberneck
2
: to go on a tour : sightsee
rubbernecker noun

Examples of rubberneck in a Sentence

Noun every year raucous rubbernecks by the busload descend upon the city for its famed Mardi Gras Verb She was rubbernecking and almost got in an accident herself. thoughtless drivers pausing on the highway to rubberneck at the accident
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Flimflam felt better in the mouth than swindle, and rubberneck was a more agreeable verb than crane. Ralph Keyes, Time, 1 Apr. 2021 What can only be described as a rubberneck-inducing, Alfalfa hair situation ensues, rendering her date-night vibe—a formfitting V-neck pink dress and no-makeup makeup look—virtually irreparable. Kate Branch, Vogue, 15 July 2018 The branch fell hard to the ground, scattering bees and rubbernecks in all directions. Ben Kesling, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2017
Verb
Or a picture of the grimy, rubbernecking cameraman of Nightcrawler. Marco Grob, Vulture, 22 Mar. 2024 For rubbernecking readers Fall is peak season for celebrity memoirs. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 13 Sep. 2023 Musk’s relentless pursuit of his whims and notions has provided good rubbernecking fodder, but enough already. 4) Think globally again. David Meyer, Fortune, 5 June 2023 On Wednesday, the first installment of the three-part reunion premiered to the delight of viewers who’ve been rubbernecking over the reality TV scandal that broke the internet. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2023 Google Maps showed traffic congestion on US-75 in the area, seemingly from rubbernecking as no other traffic incidents were reported. Lana Ferguson, Dallas News, 4 Apr. 2023 Think about how cars accelerate in an accordion fashion at a green light or how people slow down during an accident on a highway and do the rubbernecking thing. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2023 Call it paranoid, rubbernecking voyeurism. Dan Hernandez, Longreads, 28 Feb. 2023 Now there are signs that the UK, not exactly famed for constructive relations with its European neighbours, has recently rubbernecked towards the continent after more than two decades of isolation. Angus Finney, Variety, 16 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rubberneck.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rubberneck was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near rubberneck

Cite this Entry

“Rubberneck.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rubberneck. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

rubberneck

verb
rub·​ber·​neck
ˈrəb-ər-ˌnek
: to look around or stare with great curiosity

More from Merriam-Webster on rubberneck

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