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[breyk-nek] /ˈbreɪkˌnɛk/
reckless or dangerous, especially because of excessive speed; hazardous:
He raced through the streets at breakneck speed.
Origin of breakneck
First recorded in 1555-65; break + neck Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for breakneck
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • God send, at least, it might be Marius who rode thus, at such a breakneck pace.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • But there was more than blankets in the buggy that came up at breakneck speed.

    The Rider of Waroona Firth Scott
  • The illusion was that of plunging earthward at breakneck speed.

  • Straight down you go, no matter of how breakneck a character the declivity may be.

    Northern Travel Bayard Taylor
  • Along the Inca road the little party hurried at breakneck speed.

    The Inca Emerald Samuel Scoville
British Dictionary definitions for breakneck


(prenominal) (of speed, pace, etc) excessive and dangerous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for breakneck

1560s, "likely to end in a broken neck," from break (v.) + neck (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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