\ 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

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. The usage of nerd is now often used in a neutral fashion to denote enthusiasm or expertise (theater nerd) or proudly as a self-identifying trait (word nerd). Geek became synonymous with nerd in the 1950s and has similarly seen increasing use with positive connotations, showing membership in a specialized group (film geek, beer geek) rather than social awkwardness. In its earliest meanings, geek 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 Their onscreen chemistry is a balm to the millennial soul—the filthy comic, and the ultimate hipster dork of our teens and 20s, united. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 18 Mar. 2022 However, much like the lovable dork that came before him, that doesn’t mean that he can’t be redeemed down the line. Ineye Komonibo,, 28 Feb. 2022 Dornan's inner comedy dork — on a par with Andrew Garfield's inner musical nerd unleashed in Tick, Tick…Boom! — would not be denied. Joshua Rothkopf,, 22 Feb. 2022 Erskine played Maya with an alpha dork's tense confidence, always unsure if people were laughing at her or with her. Darren Franich,, 6 Dec. 2021 And she can’t be faulted for breaking character after being face to face with surprise guest Stewart, who donned a wig and braces to play a Grateful Dead loving dork. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 8 Dec. 2021 Described as your dorky next door neighbor who grew up to be hot but couldn’t shake being a dork, Daniel is an investigator at Jax’s law firm. Joe Otterson, Variety, 10 Nov. 2021 But everyone will likely recognize the conundrum posed by the dork-adjacent Dennis ( Ryan Hansen ), who meets Andrea on a flight back to Los Angeles from New York and is immediately smitten. John Anderson, WSJ, 22 June 2021 When their story begins, Jeanette is your typical dork while Kate is living her best Cher Horowitz life. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 21 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of dork

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dork

perhaps alteration of dick

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Cite this Entry

“Dork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of dork for Arabic Speakers


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