break neck


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break (one's) neck

To put forth a great deal of effort. I've been breaking my neck trying to get a passing grade this semester, so failing by two measly points is incredibly frustrating. Don't break your neck trying to please these people—they'll never appreciate it.
See also: break, neck

break one's neck (to do something)

 and break one's back (to do something)
Fig. to work very hard to accomplish something. I broke my neck to get here on time. There is no point in breaking your back. Take your time.
See also: break, neck

break (one's) neck

To make the utmost possible effort.
See also: break, neck

break one's neck, to

To hurry as fast as one can, to proceed with reckless speed. The same idea is conveyed by breakneck pace, the word breakneck dating from the sixteenth century. At that time, however, to break someone’s neck also meant to overpower or overwhelm them. This was Sir Geoffrey Fenton’s meaning when he wrote, “To breake the necke of the wicked purposes and plots of the French” (The History of Guicciardini, 1579).
See also: break