geek

noun
\ ˈgēk \

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

geekdom \ ˈgēk-​dəm \ noun
geekiness noun
geeky \ ˈgē-​kē \ adjective

Synonyms for geek

Synonyms

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

Huge geek, as in first crushes being [Star Trek's] Captain Picard and Data. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "American Gods Star Yetide Badaki on Finding Bilquis and That Sex Scene," 1 May 2017 Equally important to the show’s future, especially as one of the few sci-fi series on the big four broadcast networks, is its ability to grow and sustain a hard-core following known in geek culture as a fandom. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "‘The Orville’ and Its Vintage Vibe Fill the Void for Some ‘Star Trek’ Fans," 26 Dec. 2018 Eventually, Steiner’s inner geek and proven obsession with 3D printing brought him to Brooklyn’s freshly founded tech darling, MakerBot. Josh Snider, Popular Mechanics, "The Everything Workshop," 4 Dec. 2018 With her enormous liquid-brown eyes and voice that swings effortlessly from a deep, smoky growl to a breathy high pitch, Cabello is a temptress with a sense of humor, a geek unafraid to make fun of herself. Kimberly Cutter, Marie Claire, "The Other Side of Camila Cabello," 14 Nov. 2018 ThinkGeek, purveyor of gadgets for practically every glorious facet of geek culture, is having a huge sale today across its entire site. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "ThinkGeek is offering 50 percent off everything until 5PM ET," 3 Dec. 2018 Callaham's film-writing work revolves largely around action and geek-culture films, ranging from 2005's Doom film adaptation to 2010's first Expendables film. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Marvel reportedly wants to follow Black Panther’s success with Shang-Chi film," 3 Dec. 2018 Her lunch table in the original movie might have been the epitome of elitist exclusion — put your hair in a ponytail once too often and you were sent to Siberia with the math geeks — but it was not filled with teens staring at their screens. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Bye bye Lindsay Lohan. In Tina Fey's 'Mean Girls' on Broadway, the arty geeks take center stage.," 8 Apr. 2018 Data geeks say that steals and bunts aren’t worth it anymore, and triples, with their risk of an out, probably aren’t either. WSJ, "Our Insane Ideas to Save Baseball," 25 Oct. 2018

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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Learn More about geek

Dictionary Entries near geek

geegaw

gee-gee

gee ho

geek

geekdom

geeked

geek out

Statistics for geek

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for geek

The first known use of geek was in 1912

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More Definitions for geek

geek

noun

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

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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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