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[leth -er-nek] /ˈlɛð ərˌnɛk/
noun, Slang.
a U.S. marine.
Origin of leatherneck
First recorded in 1910-15; from the leather-lined collar which was formerly part of the uniform Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for leatherneck
Historical Examples
  • The leatherneck ran up to them, blurted out his story, gazed at them imploringly and thrust the puppies into their hands.

    The Silent Readers William D. Lewis
  • It showed the utter unselfishness of the American doughboy, gob, and leatherneck.

British Dictionary definitions for leatherneck


(slang) a member of the US Marine Corps
Word Origin
from the custom of facing the neckband of their uniform with leather
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 leatherneck

"U.S. Marine," 1914, Navy slang, from leather + neck (n.). So called for the leather collars of their early uniforms; earlier in British use (1890) as a sailor's term for a soldier.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for leatherneck



A US Marine; gyrene

[1914+ Navy; fr the leather collars of their early uniforms; the term is found by 1890 as British sailors' name for a soldier]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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