Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[neyp, nap] /neɪp, næp/
the back of the neck (usually used in the phrase nape of the neck).
Origin of nape
Middle English word dating back to 1300-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for nape
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She could hear his light breathing, she could discern his profile, then the nape of his neck.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • But Gilles took him by the nape of his dirty neck and haled him back into the room.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • Oliver caught him by the nape of his neck, spun him round, and flung him into the arms of Jasper.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Pull the nape cord taut and tie it to neck-wire in roof of mouth.

    Taxidermy Leon Luther Pray
  • For the pain in the head, a blister to the nape of the neck.

  • He became aware of grey hairs curling over the nape of the neck.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for nape


the back of the neck related adjective nuchal
Word Origin
C13: of unknown origin


(transitive) (US, military slang) to attack with napalm
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for nape

"back of the neck," c.1300, of unknown origin, perhaps from Old French hanap "a goblet," in reference to the hollow at the base of the skull. "The entire absence of forms with initial k makes it difficult to connect the word with the apparently synonymous OFris (hals) knap [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
nape in Medicine

nape (nāp, nāp)
The back of the neck.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for nape

Word Value for nape

Scrabble Words With Friends