WRYNECK, n. [wry and neck.] 1. A twisted or distorted neck; a deformity in which the neck is drawn to one side, and at the same time somewhat forwards. 2. A disease of the spasmodic kind in sheep, in which the head is drawn to one side. 3. In ornithology, a bird resembling the woodpeckers, the Yunx torquilla; so called form the singular manner in which when surprised, it tuns its head over its shoulders.
n 1: an unnatural condition in which the head leans to one side because the neck muscles on that side are contracted [syn: torticollis, wryneck] 2: Old World woodpecker with a peculiar habit of twisting the neck
nounDate: 1585 1. either of two Old World woodpeckers (Jynx torquilla or J. ruficollis) that differ from the typical woodpeckers in having soft tail feathers and a peculiar manner of writhing the neck 2.torticollis
Wryneck Wry"neck, n. (Med.) 1. A twisted or distorted neck; a deformity in which the neck is drawn to one side by a rigid contraction of one of the muscles of the neck; torticollis. 2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of several species of Old World birds of the genus Jynx, allied to the woodpeckers; especially, the common European species (J. torguilla); -- so called from its habit of turning the neck around in different directions. Called also cuckoo's mate, snakebird, summer bird, tonguebird, and writheneck.