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2017 Word of the Year

breakneck

[breyk-nek] /ˈbreɪkˌnɛk/
adjective
1.
reckless or dangerous, especially because of excessive speed; hazardous:
He raced through the streets at breakneck speed.
Origin of breakneck
1555-1565
First recorded in 1555-65; break + neck
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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

breakneck

/ˈbreɪkˌnɛk/
adjective
1.
(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
adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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