neck and neck


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neck and neck

Extremely close together; at or near an equal level. (Usually said of a race or competition.) The two athletes have been neck and neck for this entire race. The election is neck and neck. We're going to have to wait until the very last votes are tallied.
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neck and neck

Fig. exactly even, especially in a race or a contest. John and Tom finished the race neck and neck. Mary and Ann were neck and neck in the spelling contest. Their scores were tied.
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neck and neck

So close that the advantage or lead shifts from one to the other or is virtually indistinguishable, as in The two are neck and neck in developing a new operating system for the computer. The term comes from horse racing, where the necks of two horses in competition appear to be side by side. [Early 1800s] For a synonym, see nip and tuck.
See also: and, neck

neck and neck

COMMON In a race or contest, if two competitors are neck and neck, they are exactly level with each other, so that it is impossible to say who will win. The latest opinion polls show both parties running neck and neck. Leeds are currently neck-and-neck with Manchester United for the Championship. Note: You can use neck-and-neck before a noun. Polls suggest a neck-and-neck race between the Liberals and Conservatives. Note: Two horses are said to be neck and neck when they are exactly level and it is impossible to say which one is winning the race.
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neck and neck

level in a race, competition, or comparison.
This phrase, together with win by a neck below, originally developed with reference to horse racing. A neck is the length of the head and neck of a horse as a measure of its lead in a race.
1998 Spectator The Republicans had a 30-point lead over the Democrats; today, the Democrats are neck and neck on what's supposed to be a bedrock conservative issue.
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ˌneck and ˈneck (with somebody/something)

(also ˌnip and ˈtuck (with somebody) especially American English ) (in a race, competition, etc.) level with each other: With another 100 metres to go, Jones and Saville are neck and neck.
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neck and neck

mod. almost even. (see also nip and tuck. Refers to horse’s necks being at the same place with regard to the finish line.) The horses were neck and neck at the finish line.
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neck and neck

So close that the lead between competitors is virtually indeterminable.
See also: and, neck