be breathing down (one's) neck(redirected from are breathing down their necks)
be breathing down (one's) neck
1. To be monitoring someone closely, usually in an overbearing and irritating way. The boss is constantly breathing down my neck about this project—as if that will make me finish it faster!
2. To be physically close to someone in an unnerving or unwanted way. Back up, dude—I'll never make this shot if you're breathing down my neck!
3. To be advancing on an opponent, typically in a race. I ultimately won the race, but the girl who came in second place was really breathing down my neck.
be breathing down someone's neck
1. In a race or other competitive situation, if someone is breathing down your neck, they are close behind you and may soon catch up with you or beat you. I took the lead with Colin Chapman breathing down my neck in his Lotus Eleven. Both players have talented rivals breathing down their necks.
2. If someone is breathing down your neck, they are closely watching and checking everything that you do. Most farmers have bank managers breathing down their necks, so everything has to have an economic reason. Lawyers have been working into the night to complete legal documents, with civil servants breathing down their necks.