verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- necessity is the mother of invention,
- neck and neck,
- neck cord,
- neck of the woods,
- neck sweetbread,
- to suffer punishment or loss: The trend is to consolidation and small businesses are getting it in the neck.
- to be rejected or dismissed: The employees got it in the neck when the company moved overseas.
- to be sharply reprimanded or scolded.
- to win by a small amount or narrow margin.
- Racing. to be first by a head and neck; finish closely.
Origin of neck
Examples from the Web for neck
But his fingers moved through her silky strands of hair, and then down her neck.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
His chin rested on the thick plastic collar buckled around his neck.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau|Ian Frisch|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I received many bruises on my collarbones, neck, chest, and shoulders.
Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo then sought to bring the hulking Garner down by yoking him around the neck.
The 21-year-old was shot three times—twice in the back and once in the back of his neck.Chicago’s Cops Don’t Even Get Investigated for Shooting People in the Back|Justin Glawe|December 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“I will fasten up your dress in the neck if that is what you want,” said she.The Shoulders of Atlas|Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
I pinned a clean towel round my neck, barber fashion, and pulling the pins out of my hair, shook it down over my shoulders.The Motor Maid|Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
In his fortitude, he had not even thought of this supreme piety; and he flung his arms round the old woman's neck.La Grenadiere|Honore de Balzac
His head was covered with an iron cap; but as he looked he laid bare a thin strip of his neck.Myths and Folk Tales of Ireland|Jeremiah Curtin
Once, her moving fingers 155 felt the little bag hanging from its leathern thong about her neck, in which was the fairy crystal.Heart of the Blue Ridge|Waldron Baily
- save one's neck to escape from a difficult or dangerous situation
- save someone's neck to help someone else escape from such a situation
Word Origin for neck
Old English hnecca "neck, nape, back of the neck" (a fairly rare word) from Proto-Germanic *khnekkon "the nape of the neck" (cf. Old Frisian hnekka, Middle Dutch necke, Dutch nek, Old Norse hnakkr, Old High German hnach, German Nacken "neck"), with no certain cognates outside Germanic, though Klein's sources suggest PIE *knok- "high point, ridge" (cf. Old Irish cnocc, Welsh cnwch, Old Breton cnoch "hill").
The more usual Old English words were hals (the general Germanic word, cf. Gothic, Old Norse, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, German hals), cognate with Latin collum (see collar (n.)); and swira, probably also from a PIE root meaning "column" (cf. Sanskrit svaru- "post").
Transferred senses attested from c.1400. Phrase neck of the woods (American English) is attested from 1780 in the sense of "narrow stretch of woods;" 1839 with meaning "settlement in a wooded region." To stick one's neck out "take a risk" is first recorded 1919, American English. Horses running neck and neck is attested from 1799.
"to kiss, embrace, caress," 1825 (implied in necking) in northern England dialect, from neck (n.). Cf. Middle English halsen "to embrace or caress affectionately, to fondle sexually," from hals (n.) "neck." Earlier, neck as a verb meant "to kill by a strike on the neck" (mid-15c.). Related: Necked.
In addition to the idioms beginning with neck
- neck and neck
- neck of the woods
- albatross around one's neck
- break one's back (neck)
- breathe down someone's neck
- dead from the neck up
- millstone around one's neck
- pain in the neck
- risk life and limb (one's neck)
- save someone's bacon (neck)
- stick one's neck out
- up to one's ears (neck)