breathe down neck
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breathe down (one's) neck
1. To monitor someone closely, usually in an overbearing and irritating way. I just got another email from the boss asking about the status of this report, as if breathing down my neck is going to 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 with you breathing down my neck!
breathe down someone's neck
1. Fig. to keep close watch on someone; to watch someone's activities intently. (Alludes to someone standing very close behind a person.) I can't work with you breathing down my neck all the time. Go away. I will get through my life without your help. Stop breathing down my neck.
2. Fig. [for someone or something] to represent an approaching deadline. The project deadline is breathing down my neck. The due date for this paper is breathing down my neck.
breathe down (someone's) neck
1. To threaten by proximity, especially by pursuing closely.
2. To watch or monitor closely, often annoyingly: The boss was breathing down my neck all morning.