A measurement for inclusive 2- and 3-jet events of the azimuthal correlation between the two jets with the largest transverse momenta, $\varDelta \phi _{12}$ , is presented. The measurement considers events where the two leading jets are nearly collinear (“back-to-back”) in the transverse plane and is performed for several ranges of the leading jet transverse momentum. Proton-proton collision data collected with the CMS experiment at a center-of-mass energy of $13\,\text {Te}\text {V} $ and corresponding to an integrated luminosity of $35.9{\,\text {fb}^{-1}} $ are used. Predictions based on calculations using matrix elements at leading-order and next-to-leading-order accuracy in perturbative quantum chromodynamics supplemented with leading-log parton showers and hadronization are generally in agreement with the measurements. Discrepancies between the measurement and theoretical predictions are as large as 15%, mainly in the region $177^\circ< \varDelta \phi _{12} < 180^\circ $ . The 2- and 3-jet measurements are not simultaneously described by any of models.