\ 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


bookworm, dink [slang], dork [slang], grind, nerd, swot [British], weenie, wonk

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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

About 20 computer geeks with sales prowess filed into the nondescript U.K. office, giggling among themselves. Halley Bondy, NBC News, ""I just had to suppress everything": What it's like to be transgender in a male-dominated field," 21 June 2019 And for a bunch of geeks like us, you’re in Heaven. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "The CW's 'Batwoman' Is the Latest Epic Addition to Its Superhero Lineup," 10 June 2019 Get your favorite sports geek prepped for football season with this insulated cooler tote branded with their favorite team logo. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "19 Inexpensive Father's Day Gifts Your Dad Will Actually Want," 4 June 2019 The sixth annual PopCon Indy returns with three days of activities to get your geek on. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know about PopCon Indy 2019," 7 July 2017 Founded in 1997, Alamo is known for pioneering in-seat food and beverage service, geek-friendly themed programming, championing independent film and taking activist stances on entertainment issues. James Hibberd,, "Alamo Drafthouse to finally open long-awaited Los Angeles theater," 19 June 2019 Its success added to a rising profile for the world’s unapologetic nerds at the beginning of a new wave of geek glory. Lindsay Whitehurst, Twin Cities, "‘Gosh!’ Cult comedy ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ turns 15," 19 June 2019 The competition will allow true barbecue geeks the chance to watch some of the smoking in action. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Everything you need to know about Louisville's Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival," 19 June 2019 When Haitink explains in some detail his method of preparing to conduct a work, hardcore classical geeks will eat it up, while more casual readers should find enough of interest to not skip ahead. David Royko,, "Spreading joy: Andrew Patner’s CSO coverage collected in new book," 18 June 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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Dictionary Entries near geek



gee ho




geek out

Statistics for geek

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for geek

The first known use of geek was in 1912

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More Definitions for geek



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with geek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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