break one's neck

break (one's) neck

1. 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.
2. To harm or punish one very severely. Typically used as a warning or a threat. Be careful—the boss will break your neck if he catches you using company property like that. You just watch yourself, pal. If I see you snooping around here again, I'll break your neck!
See also: break, neck
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

break one's neck

see under break one's back.
See also: break, neck
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
For the queen, the headgears were too heavy that it could break one's neck.