\ 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. 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 Kretchmer, 37, is not a robotics geek, but found himself in the robotics business almost by accident. Amy Feldman, Forbes, "The $2,100-A-Month Factory Robot: Rapid Robotics Pushes To Automate Small Manufacturers, Helped By $12 Million In New Funding," 6 Apr. 2021 Behind the wide-eyed, high-decibel comedy of Jason Mantzoukas, there is a consummate, almost archetypal music geek. New York Times, "5 Notes From a Quiet Year: How Music Survived the Pandemic," 11 Mar. 2021 The group, which won both the physics category and top prize, beat out 39 competitors for $2000—and eternal geek fame. Sofia Moutinho, Science | AAAS, "Watch the winners of this year’s ‘Dance Your Ph.D.’ contest," 3 Mar. 2021 Shotwell had no desire to spend the next four years of her life considered a geek. Eric Berger, Wired, "How Elon Musk Convinced Gwynne Shotwell to Join SpaceX," 2 Mar. 2021 Could viewers ever see him as anything but the cartoonish geek of Bayside High School? NBC News, "Screech made Dustin Diamond famous. He could never leave the character behind.," 1 Feb. 2021 Larson is one of my favorite authors and never disappoints the history geek in me. Globe Staff,, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 According to Variety, which first reported the news, the new Revenge of the Nerds will be a contemporary reimagining of the decidedly un-PC original and will pontificate about today's nerd culture and what constitutes a geek in the 21st century. Clark Collis,, "Lucas Brothers to write and star in Seth MacFarlane-produced Revenge of the Nerds reboot," 16 Dec. 2020 There was another egg hidden in Oasis by its creator James Halliday, the uber-geek who bequeathed all his rights to whoever should find his egg and solve his riddle. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: Another Round in Oasis," 4 Dec. 2020

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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Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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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

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Nglish: Translation of geek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of geek for Arabic Speakers

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