from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders or trunk.
  • noun A narrow or constricted area of a bodily structure, as of a bone, that joins its parts; a cervix.
  • noun The part of a tooth between the crown and root.
  • noun The part of a garment around or near the neck.
  • noun A relatively narrow elongation, projection, or connecting part.
  • noun Music The narrow part along which the strings of an instrument extend to the pegs.
  • noun Geology Solidified lava filling the vent of an extinct volcano.
  • noun The siphon of a bivalve mollusk, such as a clam.
  • noun A narrow margin.
  • intransitive verb To kiss and caress amorously.
  • intransitive verb To strangle or decapitate (a fowl).
  • idiom (neck and neck) So close that the lead between competitors is virtually indeterminable.
  • idiom (up to (one's) neck) Deeply involved or occupied fully.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To strangle or behead.
  • To bend down or break off by force of the wind: said of ears of corn.
  • noun That part of an animal's body which is between the head and the trunk and connects these parts.
  • noun Figuratively life, from the breaking or severing of the neck in legal executions: as, to risk one's neck; to save one's neck.
  • noun In entomology:
  • noun The membrane connecting the hard parts of an insect's head with those of the thorax, and visible only when the head is forcibly drawn out.
  • noun The posterior part of the head when this is suddenly narrowed behind the eyes.
  • noun A slender anterior prolongation of the prothorax found in certain Diptera and Hymenoptera.
  • noun In anatomy, a constricted part, or constriction of a part, like or likened to a neck: as, the neck of the thigh-bone; the neck of the bladder; the neck of the uterus. See cut under femur.
  • noun The flesh of the neck and adjoining parts: as, a neck of mutton.
  • noun That part of a thing which corresponds to or resembles the neck of an animal.
  • noun That part of a garment which covers the neck: as, the high neck of a gown.
  • noun The slender upper part of any vessel which has a larger rounded body: as, the neck of a bottle, retort, etc.
  • noun In stringed musical instruments of the viol and lute families, the long slender part extending upward from the body, culminating in the head where the tension is regulated, and bearing in front the finger-board over which the strings (or such of them as are to be stopped) are stretched.
  • noun The part of an axle that passes through the hub of the wheel; also, a diminished part of any shaft resting in a hearing.
  • noun The round shank connecting the blade and the socket of a bayonet.
  • noun The constricted part joining the knob to the breech of a gun.
  • noun The contracted part of a furnace over the bridge, between the stack and the heating- or melting-chamber.
  • noun In printing, the slope between the face and the shoulder of a type. Sometimes called beard.
  • noun In botany:
  • noun In mosses, the collum or tapering base of the capsule.
  • noun In histology, the rim or wall of the archegonium which projects above the prothallium. It rests upon the venter, and is ordinarily composed of four longitudinal rows of cells.
  • noun The filled-up pipe or channel through which volcanic material has found its way upward. In modern volcanic areas the vent through which the lava, cinders, or ashes are ejected and reach the surface is generally concealed from view by the accumulated material which has been thrown out. In eruptive regions belonging to the older geological systems denudation has occasionally removed the overlying debris, so that the connection of the volcanic orifice with the more deep-seated regions can be seen and examined. This is particularly the case in the Carboniferous and Permian volcanic areas of Scotland.
  • noun In the clamp process of brickmaking, one of a series of walls of unburned bricks which together constitute a clamp.
  • noun A small bundle of the best ears of a wheatharvest, used in the ceremony of “crying the neck.”
  • noun As a geographical designation, a corner or triangular district: as, Penn's Neck.
  • noun In surgery, a weak point in the shaft of the bone, a little below the tuberosities: so called from the frequency of fracture at this point.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb colloq. To kiss and caress amorously.
  • transitive verb (Mech.) To reduce the diameter of (an object) near its end, by making a groove around it; -- used with down.
  • noun The part of an animal which connects the head and the trunk, and which, in man and many other animals, is more slender than the trunk.
  • noun Any part of an inanimate object corresponding to or resembling the neck of an animal.
  • noun The long slender part of a vessel, as a retort, or of a fruit, as a gourd.
  • noun A long narrow tract of land projecting from the main body, or a narrow tract connecting two larger tracts.
  • noun (Mus.) That part of a violin, guitar, or similar instrument, which extends from the head to the body, and on which is the finger board or fret board.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English nekke, from Old English hnecca.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English nekke, nakke, from Old English hnecca, *hnæcca (“neck, nape”), from Proto-Germanic *hnakkô (“nape, neck”), from Proto-Indo-European *knog-, *kneg- (“back of the head, nape, neck”). Cognate with Scots nek ("neck"), North Frisian neek, neeke, Nak ("neck"), Saterland Frisian Näcke ("neck"), West Frisian nekke ("neck"), Dutch nek ("neck"), Low German Nakke ("neck"), German Nacken ("nape of the neck"), Danish nakke ("neck"), Swedish nacke ("neck"), Icelandic hnakki ("neck"), Tocharian A kñuk ("neck, nape"). Possibly a mutated variant of *kneug/k (cf. Old English hnocc 'hook, penis', Welsh cnwch 'joint, knob', Latvian knaūķis 'dwarf', Ancient Greek knychóō 'to draw together'). More at nook.


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