\ 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 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 Rebanks is a soil geek, with the zeal of the convert. Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2021 This gives the wine a very mineral-y taste (which, in non-wine-geek terms, basically translates to crisp, dry, and refreshing). Annie Daly, Marie Claire, 25 Aug. 2021 Barry Jenkins, Oscar-winning writer, director and producer, is also a proud aviation geek with a strong Twitter following among travelers. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2021 Any sci-fi geek knows that gathering merch can be an integral part of the fandom experience. Sarah Toscano,, 9 Aug. 2021 But Petroski is thinking as an entrepreneur here, not a wine geek. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 July 2021 Comic-Con@Home weekend, and while the panels are virtual, the spirit of extreme fandom, pop-culture obsession and power-geek primacy will be undeniable. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 July 2021 The first impression is hardly one of a geek or guru. Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic, 23 June 2021 Thanks to its cast (including, yes, Sam Jackson) and over-the-top appeal, Kingsman was a rare geek-friendly property breaking big in the mainstream. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 18 June 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near geek

gee ho



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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Geek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for geek



English Language Learners Definition of geek

: 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

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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