\ 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 Speaking from a guest bedroom in present day Encino, the actor, comedian and writer Brian Posehn is a geek god. Matt Wake |, al, "‘Mandalorian,’ metal and comedy: Brian Posehn interview," 3 Feb. 2020 Even the most avid vagabond gobbler geek can only chase his spring passion for about 13 weeks (assuming an early start in Florida and a June finish in Maine). Brian Lovett, Outdoor Life, "The 2020 Spring Turkey Hunting State-by-State Forecast," 3 Feb. 2020 Gotta go fast Ever since the first two hopeless MIT geeks battled it out in primitive progenitors like Spacewar! Steven T. Wright, Ars Technica, "How the scourge of cheating is changing speedrunning," 22 Dec. 2019 Who Should Buy The air-gun geek who doesn't want to break the bank but is willing to put in the time to exploit this gun's impressive capabilities. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "Truth About Air Rifles: 4 Guns You Can Actually Shoot," 23 June 2014 Amid its array of diverse characters, this brainchild of co-creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij introduced us to a closeted gay teen idol (Brandon Perea) and a trans-masculine geek (Ian Alexander) with a heroic subplot. NBC News, "Best LGBTQ-inclusive TV shows and films of 2019," 28 Dec. 2019 Like a lot of Silicon Valley billionaires, Benioff, 55, started out as a prototypical geek. Washington Post, "Crusading tech mogul aims to prove CEOs can be activists too," 4 Oct. 2019 Advertising Friends and loved ones describe Bini as a computer geek who felt most at ease solving complex programming problem for days at a time. Frank Bajak, The Seattle Times, "Ace Swedish coder held by Ecuador was defender of Assange," 14 Apr. 2019 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

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

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Geek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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

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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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