[ ruhb-er-nek ]
See synonyms for: rubberneckrubbernecking on

verb (used without object)
  1. to look about or stare with great curiosity, as by craning the neck or turning the head.

verb (used with object)
  1. to gawk at: The tieup was due to drivers rubbernecking an accident.

nounAlso rub·ber·neck·er.
  1. a sightseer; tourist.

  2. an extremely curious person.

Origin of rubberneck

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; rubber1 + neck

Words Nearby rubberneck Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rubberneck in a sentence

  • The most popular slang expression of the day is "to rubberneck," or, more concisely, "to rubber."

  • Women ought to have everything they own fastened to them with rubberneck elastics.

    The Climbers | Clyde Fitch
  • A detective saw you on the rubberneck up at Central Park and 'phoned down to take you in.

    The Four Million | O. Henry
  • And now in the broad, quiet avenue in front of the rubberneck car a man in dark clothes stood with uplifted hand.

    The Four Million | O. Henry
  • To show general scorn, the bird revolved on one claw round and round his swing; he looked dangerous, repeating, "rubberneck."

British Dictionary definitions for rubberneck


/ (ˈrʌbəˌnɛk) slang /

  1. a person who stares or gapes inquisitively, esp in a naive or foolish manner

  2. a sightseer or tourist

  1. (intr) to stare in a naive or foolish manner

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