- 1 [countable] the part of the body between the head and the shoulders He tied a scarf around his neck. I woke up with a stiff neck. Giraffes have very long necks. She craned (= stretched) her neck to get a better view. He broke his neck in the fall. Somebody's going to break their neck (= injure themselves) on these steps. CollocationsPhysical appearance A person may be described as having:Eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesFace a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a hooked/a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide/sloping forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy/goatee beard a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil moustache/ (especially US English) mustacheHair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/little/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/(British English) ginger/grey hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/centre/(US English) center (British English) parting/ (North American English) partBody a long/short/thick/slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/a slim/a slender/an hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build See related entries: Body parts
- 2[countable] the part of a piece of clothing that fits around the neck What neck size do you take? see also crew neck, polo neck, turtleneck, V-neck See related entries: Parts of clothing
- 3-necked (in adjectives) having the type of neck mentioned a round-necked sweater see also open-necked, stiff-necked More Like This Compound adjectives for physical characteristics -beaked, -bellied, -billed, -blooded, -bodied, -cheeked, -chested, -eared, -eyed, -faced, -fingered, -footed, -haired, -handed, -headed, -hearted, -hipped, -lidded, -limbed, -mouthed, -necked, -nosed, -skinned, -tailed, -throated, -toothedSee worksheet.
- 4[countable] neck (of something) a long narrow part of something the neck of a bottle a neck of land
- 5 [uncountable] neck (of something) the neck of an animal, cooked and eaten neck of lamb see also bottleneck, redneck, roughneck Word Origin Old English hnecca ‘back of the neck’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nek
level with somebody in a race or competition The cyclists were neck and neck as they approached the final lap. (informal) a particular place or area He's from your neck of the woods (= the area where you live). What are you doing in this neck of the woods?
(informal) a person or thing that is very annoying to risk losing your job, damaging your reputation, etc. by doing or saying something It's not a matter that I'm prepared to put my head on the block for. to risk being killed or injured in order to do something She risked life and limb to save her children from the fire. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet. (informal) to rescue somebody from a very difficult situation to try to avoid death, punishment, etc., especially by leaving others in an extremely difficult situation To save his own skin, he lied and blamed the accident on his friend. (informal) to do or say something when there is a risk that you may be wrong I’ll stick my neck out and say that Bill is definitely the best candidate for the job. stick your neck outdare (informal) when you say that you will wring somebody’s neck, you mean that you are very angry or annoyed with them See related entries: Anger