neck and neck


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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.
See also: and, neck

neck and neck

very close or equal The two companies are neck and neck in the competition to win over customers.
Usage notes: generally used to describe competitors, and often with the verb run: The two candidates are running neck and neck in the opinion polls.
Etymology: based on the meaning in horse racing of horse running neck and neck (at the same speed with their heads and necks next to each other)
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neck and neck

if two people who are competing are neck and neck, they are very close and either of them could win (often + with ) Recent polls show the Republicans almost neck and neck with the Democratic Party.
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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

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