rub·​ber·​neck | \ ˈrə-bər-ˌnek How to pronounce rubberneck (audio) \

Definition of rubberneck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an overly inquisitive person
2 : tourist especially : one on a guided tour


rubbernecked; rubbernecking; rubbernecks

Definition of rubberneck (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from rubberneck


rubbernecker \ ˈrə-​bər-​ˌne-​kər How to pronounce rubberneck (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for rubberneck

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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
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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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That is, there’s no constraint: Drivers don’t have to behave in a certain way, because there’s no longer a rubbernecking driver in front of them. Matt Simon, Wired, 7 Apr. 2020 Drivers rubbernecked past the Indian Health Care Center, which had been placed on near-total lockdown. Alden Woods, azcentral, 11 Apr. 2020 There are options for those who would rather rubberneck than subscribe: His website will sell you a replica Barings Bank trading jacket for €300. Charley Grant, WSJ, 6 Feb. 2020 There have been plenty of other wrecks at this spot, just in the past week or two, reminding fans why sports is such rubbernecking fun. John Branch, New York Times, 11 Oct. 2019 There’s a rubbernecking aspect to listening to Alabama fans lose their minds after a loss, which is a big reason the shows became so famous outside the state. John Talty |, al, 12 Nov. 2019 There is an equality of skin on display here — first Nathan strips naked, and then Issa does, swapping rubbernecking for an intimate mutual gaze. Amanda Hess, New York Times, 3 July 2019 Maryland State Police reported inner loop backups from rubbernecking drivers that stretched from the bridge to Branch Avenue. Clarence Williams, Washington Post, 20 June 2018 Nothing unusual, except a video crew trailed Norman Xiong and his buddies, Rick Johnson and Roberto Castillo, down the sidewalk, no doubt causing some motorists to rubberneck. Tod Leonard,, 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rubberneck.' 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 rubberneck


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for rubberneck

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The first known use of rubberneck was in 1892

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Cite this Entry

“Rubberneck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for rubberneck



English Language Learners Definition of rubberneck

: to look around or stare with great curiosity especially : to slow down while you are driving in order to stare at something (such as an accident)

More from Merriam-Webster on rubberneck

Nglish: Translation of rubberneck for Spanish Speakers


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