\ ˈgēk How to pronounce geek (audio) \

Definition of geek

1 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked
2 : an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity computer geek
3 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake

Other Words from geek

geekiness noun
geeky \ ˈgē-​kē How to pronounce geek (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for geek


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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 geek in a Sentence

He was a real geek in high school. was quickly stereotyped as another computer geek
Recent Examples on the Web Last week, in a conversation with his fellow running geek David Epstein, Malcolm Gladwell ventured an opinion on the nature of athletic greatness. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 11 June 2022 Kim is very human-centric, which can be hard to scale, and Lee is an M.I.T. tech geek who knows how to scale things. Geri Stengel, Forbes, 8 June 2022 People now get off on seeing mondo mutation, steel meeting tissue, fleshy destruction rebranded as a genetically superior, high-art geek show. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2022 Yet my inner high school marching band geek is drawn to the parade people. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 17 May 2022 As Evan’s school chums Alana and Jared, Ciara Alyse Harris and a rather old-looking Alessandro Costantini take high school geek stereotypes and manage to inject some freshness. Christopher Arnott,, 30 Mar. 2022 In high school, Karpf became a jazz-band geek with a penchant for music theory. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 23 Mar. 2022 The show feels like watching the class clown and a weirdly appealing band geek team up to confront their childhood trauma. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 18 Mar. 2022 One of the world’s biggest pop stars is a music geek obsessed with obscure Wings tracks, a guy who named his new album after a 1973 release by Japanese pop pioneer Haruomi Hosono. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 27 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of geek

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for geek

probably from English dialect geek, geck fool, from Low German geck, from Middle Low German

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gee ho



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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Geek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on geek

Nglish: Translation of geek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of geek for Arabic Speakers


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