• synonyms


[neyp, nap]
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  1. the back of the neck (usually used in the phrase nape of the neck).
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Origin of nape

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

collar, strait, cape, cervix, scruff, nape, isthmus

Examples from the Web for nape

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British Dictionary definitions for nape


  1. the back of the neckRelated adjective: nuchal
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Word Origin

C13: of unknown origin


  1. (tr) US military slang to attack with napalm
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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

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].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nape in Medicine


(nāp, năp)
  1. The back of the neck.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.