A necklace is jewelry you wear around your neck. You might decide your sparkly faux-diamond necklace is a bit dressy for your cousin's baseball game — but perfect for a fancy dinner out.
A necklace can be a simple gold or silver chain, a length of beads or gems, or a pendant hanging from a cord. As long as it's worn around the neck, it's a necklace. The word, which dates from the late 1500s, combines neck with lace, meaning "cord," from the Old French laz, "string, cord, or snare." The Latin root, laqueum, means "noose or snare."