\ 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

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Other Words from geek

geekiness noun
geeky \ ˈgē-​kē How to pronounce geeky (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. 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 geek in a Sentence

He was a real geek in high school. was quickly stereotyped as another computer geek
Recent Examples on the Web For the first time, an autism rights movement appears to have found a collective voice of its own — poets, professors, comedians, computer geeks and YouTubers, some using text-to-voice synthesizers. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Abolishing 'normal' and 'abnormal': How the long-marginalized autism community is becoming a bellwether of social change," 24 Oct. 2019 Here are some suggestions for the endurance nerds, science geeks, and just plain intellectually curious people in your life (including you). Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "The 2019 Sweat Science Holiday Book List," 7 Dec. 2019 The Matrix created a permanent link between Reeves and geek culture. Aja Romano, Vox, "Keanu Reeves, explained," 16 Aug. 2019 Unsteady blends ska and reggae with a dash of geek, lounge and funky soul with horns, organ, driving bass and drums. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Women’s group honors members," 29 July 2019 Funke, a Los Angeles chef and the American pasta maker of the book’s title, has written a cookbook for obsessive hobbyists, professional chefs and pasta geeks in general. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gift guide: 2019 cookbooks and companion goodies for food and drink lovers," 5 Dec. 2019 Donate to their Veterans Build fund in honor of your gear geeks, and maybe encourage them to volunteer with this group to give them more places to use all those tools. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Here’s how to keep clutter out of your home: #GivingTuesday = A gift guide," 28 Nov. 2019 The first day of public testimony in the impeachment hearings in Washington, D.C., Wednesday lasted about 5 ½ hours, which is more time than even most of us political geeks wanted to devote to watching it. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Life hack -- Watch the impeachment inquiry on double speed," 18 Nov. 2019 For Encore! — an original docuseries that’ll debut November 12 on Disney+ — former teenage drama geeks are asked to reconvene at their alma mater to re-stage their old musical. Lynette Rice,, "Everything you need to know Disney+ series Encore! from co-creator Kristen Bell," 11 Nov. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for geek

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Geek.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for geek


How to pronounce geek (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of geek

chiefly US, informal
: a person who is socially awkward and unpopular : a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people
: a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity

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More from Merriam-Webster on geek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for geek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with geek

Spanish Central: Translation of geek

Nglish: Translation of geek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of geek for Arabic Speakers

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