the part of the body of an animal or human being that connects the head and the trunk.
the part of a garment encircling, partly covering, or closest to the neck; neckline.
the length of the neck of a horse or other animal as a measure in racing.
the slender part near the top of a bottle, vase, or similar object.
any narrow, connecting, or projecting part suggesting the neck of an animal.
a narrow strip of land, as an isthmus or a cape.
a strait.
the longer and more slender part of a violin or similar stringed instrument, extending from the body to the head.
Building Trades, Machinery. the part on a shank of a bolt next to the head, especially when it has a special form.
Anatomy. a narrowed part of a bone, organ, or the like.
Dentistry. the slightly narrowed region of a tooth between the crown and the root.
Printing. beard ( def 5 ).
Architecture. a cylindrical continuation of the shaft of a column above the lower astragal of the capital, as in the Roman Doric and Tuscan orders.
Also called volcanic neck. Geology. the solidified lava or igneous rock filling a conduit leading either to a vent of an extinct volcano or to a laccolith.
verb (used without object)
Informal. (of two persons) to embrace, kiss, and caress one another amorously.
verb (used with object)
Informal. to embrace, kiss, and caress (someone) amorously.
to strangle or behead.
be up to one's neck, Informal. to have a surfeit; be overburdened: Right now she's up to her neck in work.
break one's neck, Informal. to make a great effort: We broke our necks to get there on time.
get it in the neck, Slang.
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.
neck and neck, even or very close; indeterminate as to the outcome: They were coming toward the finish line neck and neck.
neck of the woods, Informal. neighborhood, area, or vicinity: Next time you're in this neck of the woods, drop in.
stick one's neck out, Informal. to expose oneself to danger, disaster, failure, disgrace, etc.; take a risk: He stuck his neck out by supporting an unpopular candidate.
win by a neck,
to win by a small amount or narrow margin.
Racing. to be first by a head and neck; finish closely.

before 900; Middle English nekke, Old English hnecca, cognate with Dutch nek nape of neck; akin to German Nacken, Old Norse hnakki nape of neck

necker, noun
neckless, adjective
necklike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
neck (nɛk)
1.  the part of an organism connecting the head with the rest of the bodyRelated: cervical, jugular
2.  the part of a garment around or nearest the neck
3.  something resembling a neck in shape or position: the neck of a bottle
4.  anatomy a constricted portion of an organ or part, such as the cervix of the uterus
5.  a narrow or elongated projecting strip of land; a peninsula or isthmus
6.  a strait or channel
7.  the part of a violin, cello, etc, that extends from the body to the tuning pegs and supports the fingerboard
8.  a solid block of lava from the opening of an extinct volcano, exposed after erosion of the surrounding rock
9.  botany the upper, usually tubular, part of the archegonium of mosses, ferns, etc
10.  the length of a horse's head and neck taken as an approximate distance by which one horse beats another in a race: to win by a neck
11.  informal a short distance, amount, or margin: he is always a neck ahead in new techniques
12.  informal impudence; audacity: he had the neck to ask for a rise
13.  architect the narrow band at the top of the shaft of a column between the necking and the capital, esp as used in the Tuscan order
14.  another name for beard, on printer's type
15.  informal break one's neck to exert oneself greatly, esp by hurrying, in order to do something
16.  slang (Irish), (Scot) by the neck (of a bottle of beer) served unpoured: give me two bottles of stout by the neck
17.  informal get it in the neck to be reprimanded or punished severely
18.  neck and neck absolutely level or even in a race or competition
19.  informal neck of the woods an area or locality: a quiet neck of the woods
20.  risk one's neck to take a great risk
21.  informal
 a.  save one's neck to escape from a difficult or dangerous situation
 b.  save someone's neck to help someone else escape from such a situation
22.  informal stick one's neck out to risk criticism, ridicule, failure, etc, by speaking one's mind
23.  up to one's neck in deeply involved in: he's up to his neck in dodgy dealings
24.  informal (intr) to kiss, embrace, or fondle someone or one another passionately
25.  informal (Brit) (tr) to swallow (something, esp a drink): he's been necking pints all night
Related: cervical, jugular
[Old English hnecca; related to Old High German hnack, Old Irish cnocc hill]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hnecca "neck, back of the neck" (a fairly rare word) from P.Gmc. *khnekkon "the nape of the neck" (cf. O.Fris. hnekka, M.Du. necke, O.N. hnakkr, O.H.G. hnach, Ger. Nacken "neck"), with no certain cognates outside Gmc., though some suggest PIE *knok- "high point, ridge" (cf. O.Ir. cnocc, Welsh cnwch,
O.Bret. cnoch "hill"). The more usual O.E. words were hals (the general Gmc. word, cf. Goth., O.N., Dan., Swed., Du., Ger. hals), cognate with L. collum (see collar); and swira, probably also from a PIE root meaning "column" (cf. Skt. svaru- "post"). The verb meaning "to kiss, embrace, caress" is first recorded 1825 (implied in necking) in northern England dial., from the noun. Neckerchief is 1382, from kerchief (q.v.). Phrase neck of the woods (Amer.Eng.) is attested from 1780 in the sense of "narrow stretch of woods;" 1839 with meaning "settlement in a wooded region." Neckline of a garment is from 1904. To stick one's neck out "take a risk" is first recorded 1926, Amer.Eng. Horses running neck and neck is attested from 1799.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

neck (něk)

  1. The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders or trunk.

  2. A narrow or constricted part of a structure, as of a bone or an organ, that joins its parts; a cervix.

  3. The part of a tooth between the crown and the root.

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

Neck definition

used sometimes figuratively. To "lay down the neck" (Rom. 16:4) is to hazard one's life. Threatenings of coming judgments are represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the people's necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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