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 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, "A Love Letter to the ’90s Bob That Changed Everything," 15 July 2018 The branch fell hard to the ground, scattering bees and rubbernecks in all directions. Ben Kesling, WSJ, "Look Out—It’s New York City’s Bee Cop! And He’s Got a Vacuum Cleaner," 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, "Turns Out, Traffic Spreads Like the Coronavirus," 7 Apr. 2020 Drivers rubbernecked past the Indian Health Care Center, which had been placed on near-total lockdown. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Easter weekend curfew on the Navajo Nation sends nervous residents in search of supplies," 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, "For the Roguish Trader in Your Life," 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, "N.B.A.-China Spat Shows Sports Isn’t (and Shouldn’t Be) Just About Games," 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, "How Paul Finebaum handles post-Alabama loss show meltdowns," 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, "Women Crash the Pool Party," 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, "A daytime bridge crash clogged D.C. area traffic into the night," 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,, "Interest high as San Diego Pro Kids alum Norman Xiong turns pro," 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of rubberneck was in 1892

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Statistics for rubberneck

Cite this Entry

“Rubberneck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for rubberneck



English Language Learners Definition of rubberneck

chiefly US, informal : 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

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Nglish: Translation of rubberneck for Spanish Speakers

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