\ˈdȯrk \

Definition of dork 


: nerd looked like a dork in that sweater also : jerk sense 1a Stop acting like a dork.

Keep scrolling 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

That gut punch of a goodbye came during Monday night’s installment of The Bachelorette when Becca Kufrin sent home Wills Reid, the handsome, Harry Potter loving dork who nerded his way into America’s heart., "Can We Start The Wills Reid For Bachelor Campaign Right Now?," 10 July 2018 His heroine, Irene (Michelle McLeod) is a chubby, overprotected dork who wants to be a cheerleader, despite the protestations of her mom Lydia (Anastasia Phillips), a former pepster herself. Katie Walsh,, "Spirited Canadian comedy 'Don't Talk to Irene' tempers its sugar with just enough sour," 1 Mar. 2018 Car dorks of the sort that populate the C/D offices will be quick to point out that the Roxor resembles the megarare Alfa Romeo 1900M Matta 4×4; those with truly arcane tastes will name-check the Crosley Farm-O-Road. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "Detroit-Built Mahindra Roxor Off-Road Vehicle Revealed: Is This the Mini Jeep We Need?," 2 Mar. 2018 These dorks from Delco keep calling in saying Jorts are cool, stop taking their calls @Ike58Reese @JonMarksMedia @94WIP 6. Stephanie Farr,, "Welcome to Delco, South Philly. Here's what you need to know," 20 Feb. 2018 Turning down the popular guy for the dork that liked you before your makeover. Diana Bruk, Seventeen, "10 Ridiculous Relationship Goals That '90s and '00s Romantic Movies Gave You," 13 Dec. 2016 Who was going to say publicly that staying on would violate official Department of Justice regulations, other than the usual Democratic goo-goos in the House and Senate and the self-righteous dorks in the fake news media? Leon Neyfakh, Slate Magazine, "He Didn’t Have to Do It," 20 July 2017 The new currency — and, indeed, that day’s top offering — was a video of Thompson dancing like a dork in a Chinese nightclub. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "Why ESPN Is More Political Than Before," 20 Sep. 2017 At a moment when we are stuck with a president who is solely a creature of celebrity culture, maybe a White House press corps made of anonymous dorks and dusty worker bees could be a breath of fresh air. Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Magazine, "Unsolicited Advice for the White House Press Corps," 30 June 2017

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

1967, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dork

perhaps alteration of dick

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dork

Dictionary Entries near dork








Statistics for dork

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dork

The first known use of dork was in 1967

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dork



English Language Learners Definition of dork

: 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

See words that rhyme with dork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
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!