[ ruhb-er-nek ]
/ ˈrʌb ərˌnɛk /

verb (used without object)

to look about or stare with great curiosity, as by craning the neck or turning the head.

verb (used with object)

to gawk at: The tieup was due to drivers rubbernecking an accident.

noun Also rub·ber·neck·er.

a sightseer; tourist.
an extremely curious person.

Origin of rubberneck

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; rubber1 + neck Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rubberneck

British Dictionary definitions for rubberneck


/ (ˈrʌbəˌnɛk) slang /


a person who stares or gapes inquisitively, esp in a naive or foolish manner
a sightseer or tourist


(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

Word Origin and History for rubberneck



1897, "person who is always listening to other people's conversation; person who gazes around him with undue curiosity," from rubber + neck (n.). Popularized with reference to sightseers in automobiles. As a verb from 1896. Related: Rubbernecking (1896); rubbernecker (1934).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper