\ ˈdȯrk How to pronounce dork (audio) \
plural dorks

Definition of dork

: an odd, socially awkward, unstylish person I felt like a dork in that sweater. As the years went by, Webb found other members of his own species—a dork here, a nerd there.— Jerry Spinelli The kinds of kids regarded by peers as dorks, nerds and screw-ups have suffered years of rejection, based on appearances, quirks and familial conditioning.— Ed Blank Her younger brother … is a wispy little wimp with dorks for pals … and a big problem with the local bully.— Kendall Hamilton also : an annoyingly stupid or foolish person : jerk sense 1a … her dork of a do-nothing husband … — Stephen Schaefer My fear of the menace represented by this young dork is offset only by the concern that if I confront him, he'll come over one night and smash our patio furniture. — Stanley Bing

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Synonyms for dork


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Of Nerds, Geeks, and Dorks

Dork, when used to refer to a socially awkward or inept person, is a relatively recent word: our records indicate that it first appeared in writing in the 1960s. Two of its synonyms in this sense are likewise of fairly recent vintage. Nerd (typically used of a studious species of dork) dates from the 1950s; it was coined by Dr. Seuss in his 1950 book If I Ran the Zoo, although not in the sense that we use today. Geek became synonymous with nerd in the 1950s. Prior to this, the word referred to, among other things, a carnival performer who would bite the head off a live chicken, or other small animal, as part of an act.

Examples of dork in a Sentence

I look like a complete dork in these clothes.
Recent Examples on the Web When their story begins, Jeanette is your typical dork while Kate is living her best Cher Horowitz life. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 21 Apr. 2021 This Jim Crow is no relation to the dork who drew it. J.d. Crowe |, al, 31 Mar. 2021 Joe Namath was a hopeless dork-for-life compared with Brady’s cool in that moment. Globe Staff,, 4 Feb. 2021 Strangers stop and comment on its slick looking design, whereas many other e-bikes in this price range give off a dork vibe. Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2020 Over the course of season 2, Harley finally realized her own romantic feelings, but Ivy was engaged to the lovable dork Kite Man (Matt Oberg). Christian Holub,, 18 Sep. 2020 Within this line of vehicles, there was car dork controversy when Ferrari introduced the 488. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, 7 Aug. 2020 Kwofi is tall and muscular, while Stark's a movie dork that has to wear arch supports in his shoes. Matt Wake |, al, 4 June 2020 After all, as Dilley might say, better to infect the people around you with a deadly virus than to risk looking like a dork. Gilbert Garcia,, 20 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dork.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dork

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dork

perhaps alteration of dick

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Statistics for dork

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dork



English Language Learners Definition of dork

informal : a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on dork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dork

Britannica English: Translation of dork for Arabic Speakers


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