break one's back

(redirected from breakneck pace)

break (one's) back

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

break one's back

Also, break one's neck. Make a great effort, work very hard. For example, I've been breaking my back over this problem for the past week, or Don't break your neck to get there; we'll wait for you. Both versions of this expression, polite equivalents of break one's ass, transfer the literal fracture of one's back or neck to figurative exertion. However, break one's neck has the secondary connotation of proceeding with reckless speed, a sense also conveyed by the term breakneck pace. Originally this idiom alluded to literally breaking one's neck by rushing heedlessly along, but it has been used figuratively for the past 300 years. Also see break the back of.
See also: back, break
References in classic literature ?
He didn't hear me call, nor see me flap my parasol in front, and there we were, quite helpless, rattling away, and whirling around corners at a breakneck pace. At last, in my despair, I saw a little door in the roof, and on poking it open, a red eye appeared, and a beery voice said...
A rolling cloud of yellow dust had streamed round the curve of the road, and from the heart of it had emerged a high tandem tricycle flying along at a breakneck pace. In front sat Mrs.
Terrence Jones has been spearheading TNT in its romp of the PBA Commissioner's Cup at a breakneck pace, tying records in sensational fashion.
The analyst, however, is cautious near term as Tesla navigates the "breakneck pace" of its global expansion.
DANGER MI5 officers are working at a breakneck pace not seen in decades, against the clock, making life-and-death decisions and risking everything to hunt down evil plotters.
As apartment communities strive to match the breakneck pace of technology and remain on the cutting-edge of smart-home amenities, they now have more to consider, just in time for the holidays, Amazon was expected to release at least eight hardware devices in late September.
Va Chandore, director of Three Wheel Motor Service Provider, said yesterday that demand for ride-hailing services are increasing at a breakneck pace in Cambodia.
If some characters aren't fully fleshed out, the novel's breakneck pace and intricate plotting are nevertheless a treat to savor.
Dan Booth, on fiddle, and John Leonard, playing just about everything with strings, bring a huge amount of intricacy to the breakneck pace of their songs.
From Hawkins's mysterious relocation in the beginning chapters to his ever-increasing horror over what the United States has become, surprises and twists come at a breakneck pace. There is all the glamour of a slick international thriller -- complete with mysterious dames, secret messages, and plenty of red herrings -- but with the added punch of modern-day context.
* Provide the veteran with a mentor or a "battle buddy." Often, organizations on-board new employees through the use of a one- or two-day welcome session, go through the employee handbook, review how to get paid and sign up for employee benefits, and rattle through other miscellaneous information at a breakneck pace. If you ever have had a job, there probably is one thing you remember from your first few weeks--you do not remember much of what anyone said.
The degree of change and the breakneck pace in which it is occurring, is overwhelming many operations.
Leaping forward at a breakneck pace, the narrator's chaotic journey, wrapped in uncertainty, carries readers along with him.
On top of that, T-Mobile announced that, beyond lighting up these new airwaves on LTE at breakneck pace, the Un-carrier is simultaneously laying a foundation for true nationwide 5G with breakthrough new equipment from Ericsson that supports both LTE and 5G.