wryneck [rahy-nek] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. Informal.
    1. torticollis.
    2. a person having torticollis.
  2. any of several small Old World climbing birds of the subfamily Jynginae, of the woodpecker family, noted for the peculiar habit of twisting the head and neck.

Origin of wryneck First recorded in 1575–85; wry + neck Examples from the Web for wryneck Historical Examples of wryneck

  • The wryneck was thought to build the nest, and hatch and feed the young of the cuckoo.

    Welsh Folk-Lore

    Elias Owen

  • “That can be nothing else but a wryneck,” said Jimmy, noticing its movement.

    The Swan and Her Crew

    George Christopher Davies

  • At most seasons of the year the wryneck is a remarkably silent bird.

    Glimpses of Indian Birds

    Douglas Dewar

  • Like very many other migrants, the wryneck does not appear to be powerful on the wing.

    Glimpses of Indian Birds

    Douglas Dewar

  • The wryneck is as retiring in disposition as the sparrow is obtrusive.

    Glimpses of Indian Birds

    Douglas Dewar

  • British Dictionary definitions for wryneck wryneck noun

    1. either of two cryptically coloured Old World woodpeckers, Jynx torquilla or J. ruficollis, which do not drum on trees
    2. another name for torticollis
    3. informal a person who has a twisted neck

    wryneck in Medicine wryneck [rī′nĕk′] n.

    1. torticollis

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