breathe down one's neck
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British pronunciation/bɹˈiːð dˌaʊn wˈɒnz nˈɛk/
American pronunciation/bɹˈiːð dˌaʊn wˈʌnz nˈɛk/
01

to closely watch someone and everything they do, particularly in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable

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to [breathe] down {one's} neck definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "breathe down one's neck" and when to use it?

The idiom "breathe down one's neck" is believed to have originated from the literal act of someone standing so close behind another person that they can feel their breath on their neck. This phrase is used in various contexts to describe situations where someone feels closely watched, monitored, or pressured by another person or group. It is often used to convey a sense of discomfort, unease, or intrusion.

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Example
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The teacher is constantly breathing down his neck, making him nervous during the exam.
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Meaning of "To [breathe] down {one's} neck"
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