breathe down (one's) 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!
See also: breathe, down, neck
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: breathe, down, neck
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

breathe down someone's neck

1. Pursue someone closely; pose a threat to one, as in The immigration authorities were breathing down his neck. [Mid-1900s]
2. Watch or supervise someone very closely, as in The boss is always breathing down our necks. [Mid-1900s]
See also: breathe, down, 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.

breathe down someone's neck

1 constantly check up on someone. 2 follow closely behind someone.
See also: breathe, down, neck
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

breathe down somebody’s ˈneck

(informal) watch somebody too closely, and so make them feel uncomfortable: I can’t work with people breathing down my neck the whole time.
See also: breathe, down, neck
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: breathe, down, neck
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
River City BBC1 Lydia persuades Annie to have a low-key hen night but she's not in the mood with DCI Grant breathing down her neck about getting dirt on Lenny.
With the grim reaper breathing down her neck, Dying Donna is getting uncharacteristically cavalier about taking risks, notably breaking the law.
EMMERDALE Tue-Fri ITV With the grim reaper breathing down her neck, Dying Donna is getting uncharacteristically cavalier about taking risks, notably breaking the law.
I don't know whether yours is truly "in trouble" or is just grappling with adolescent angst, but I do know she needs true friends--not a group of people breathing down her neck. So be the caring person you are, and consider informing a trusted parent or teacher who can be objective about the situation.