\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dork


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Kwofi is tall and muscular, while Stark's a movie dork that has to wear arch supports in his shoes. Matt Wake |, al, "Alabama rapper’s timely Black Lives Matter music video," 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,, "Garcia: Anti-mask movement won’t let logic get in its way," 20 May 2020 Word on the street is the exhibit features work by Bruce Larsen, Pinky Bass, Roy Hoffman and some local dork. J.d. Crowe |, al, "Coronavirus art breaks out in Alabama ‘artist colony’," 26 Apr. 2020 Joana was more like the kid waving her arms like a dork and dancing along to the music with her friends. Abby Ohlheiser, Twin Cities, "Joana Ceddia got famous on YouTube for being a normal teen, and she’s trying to stay that way," 18 July 2019 Instagram is this fun, dumb thing to be a little bit of a dork on and to kind of promote the movie. Randy Cordova, azcentral, "'The Art of Self-Defense' filmmaker Riley Stearns talks toxic masculinity and tattoos," 18 July 2019 His style, with its healthy punch of dork factor, is of the now in a way that is similar to Post Malone’s very self-aware, disheveled, sleazy look. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Bad Bunny Is the Goofy Fashion Heartthrob We Need Now," 28 Nov. 2018 The surviving twin, Will (the beautiful and hilarious Cole Allen), treats his dad like a dork. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Kidding’ Review: Adult Emotions on Children’s TV," 13 Sep. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of dork

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dork

perhaps alteration of dick

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dork

Statistics for dork

Last Updated

27 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dork


How to pronounce dork (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dork

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dork

Britannica English: Translation of dork for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dork

What made you want to look up dork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!