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neck of a gun
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Neck \Neck\ (n[e^]k), n. [OE. necke, AS. hnecca; akin to D. nek the nape of the neck, G. nacken, OHG. nacch, hnacch, Icel. hnakki, Sw. nacke, Dan. nakke.] 1. The part of an animal which connects the head and the trunk, and which, in man and many other animals, is more slender than the trunk. [1913 Webster] 2. Any part of an inanimate object corresponding to or resembling the neck of an animal; as: (a) The long slender part of a vessel, as a retort, or of a fruit, as a gourd. (b) A long narrow tract of land projecting from the main body, or a narrow tract connecting two larger tracts. (c) (Mus.) That part of a violin, guitar, or similar instrument, which extends from the head to the body, and on which is the finger board or fret board. [1913 Webster] 3. (Mech.) A reduction in size near the end of an object, formed by a groove around it; as, a neck forming the journal of a shaft. [1913 Webster] 4. (Bot.) the point where the base of the stem of a plant arises from the root. [1913 Webster] Neck and crop, completely; wholly; altogether; roughly and at once. [Colloq.] Neck and neck (Racing), so nearly equal that one cannot be said to be before the other; very close; even; side by side. Neck of a capital. (Arch.) See Gorgerin. Neck of a cascabel (Gun.), the part joining the knob to the base of the breech. Neck of a gun, the small part of the piece between the chase and the swell of the muzzle. Neck of a tooth (Anat.), the constriction between the root and the crown. Neck or nothing (Fig.), at all risks. Neck verse. (a) The verse formerly read to entitle a party to the benefit of clergy, said to be the first verse of the fifty-first Psalm, "Miserere mei," etc. --Sir W. Scott. (b) Hence, a verse or saying, the utterance of which decides one's fate; a shibboleth. These words, "bread and cheese," were their neck verse or shibboleth to distinguish them; all pronouncing "broad and cause," being presently put to death. --Fuller. Neck yoke. (a) A bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of the harnesses. (b) A device with projecting arms for carrying things (as buckets of water or sap) suspended from one's shoulders. On the neck of, immediately after; following closely; on the heel of. "Committing one sin on the neck of another." --W. Perkins. Stiff neck, obstinacy in evil or wrong; inflexible obstinacy; contumacy. "I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck." --Deut. xxxi. 27. To break the neck of, to destroy the main force of; to break the back of. "What they presume to borrow from her sage and virtuous rules . . . breaks the neck of their own cause." --Milton. To harden the neck, to grow obstinate; to be more and more perverse and rebellious. --Neh. ix. 17. To tread on the neck of, to oppress; to tyrannize over. [1913 Webster]