Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR NECK-AND-NECK

One man has rounded the summit, and two others follow him neck-and-neck.

Then, with a bound, Dave came up, and the pair were neck-and-neck for the finish.

He yelped sharply, and the wolves raced in until four of them were neck-and-neck with him.

A thrilling rescue and a neck-and-neck race for the treasure followed.

The brute had crossed his path far away from the pack, and he had flung himself out of saddle and had a neck-and-neck struggle.

Joe was close behind, and now it became a neck-and-neck race between them.

It was a neck-and-neck race, and in a moment more four hands went up on the rock at practically the same time.

Phil and Roger were now neck-and-neck, with not quite half a mile of the race still to cover.

From the very outset it seemed that Merriwell and Mansford were in for a neck-and-neck match.

It was a neck-and-neck race between the rain and the Girl, but the Girl won.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English hnecca "neck, nape, back of the neck" (a fairly rare word) from Proto-Germanic *khnekkon "the nape of the neck" (cf. Old Frisian hnekka, Middle Dutch necke, Dutch nek, Old Norse hnakkr, Old High German hnach, German Nacken "neck"), with no certain cognates outside Germanic, though Klein's sources suggest PIE *knok- "high point, ridge" (cf. Old Irish cnocc, Welsh cnwch, Old Breton cnoch "hill").

The more usual Old English words were hals (the general Germanic word, cf. Gothic, Old Norse, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, German hals), cognate with Latin collum (see collar (n.)); and swira, probably also from a PIE root meaning "column" (cf. Sanskrit svaru- "post").

Transferred senses attested from c.1400. Phrase neck of the woods (American English) is attested from 1780 in the sense of "narrow stretch of woods;" 1839 with meaning "settlement in a wooded region." To stick one's neck out "take a risk" is first recorded 1919, American English. Horses running neck and neck is attested from 1799.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR NECK-AND-NECK

nip and tuck

adverbvery close and evenly contested
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.