\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

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

Aviation geeks might have preferred another recent United auction, which promised a visit to the airline’s Tupelo, Miss., aircraft disassembly center to celebrate the airline’s last Boeing 747, including a Champagne toast in the first-class cabin. Lauren Zumbach,, "The new way to use your airline miles: Bears tickets, fancy meals and a walk-on role in a movie," 10 July 2018 Again, this sounds like the sort of thing geeks said in the 1990s. The Economist, "Raiders of the killer dappBlockchain technology may offer a way to re-decentralise the internet," 28 June 2018 The goal then was to get geeks from Silicon Valley to take tours of duty in Washington, cut through the morass of military bureaucracy, and build technology that’s actually user-friendly and doesn’t take years to produce. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "The Pentagon Is Building a Dream Team of Tech-Savvy Soldiers," 2 July 2018 Since before drones flew through the sky, filming footage for videos, helping companies to work faster and fascinating users with their ability to take flight, aviation geeks have been building small-scale airplanes. Madelyn Dibley, Detroit Free Press, "Before the drone: Model airplanes take flight at upcoming airshow," 2 July 2018 For full golf-course architecture geeks, here's PGA Tour player/design aficionado Zac Blair's breakdown of the layout for Daniel Rapaport,, "A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Preivew: Picks, History, Field, Odds," 4 July 2018 Hardwick founded Nerdist in 2008 as a go-to source for nerd news and all things geek from comics to video games. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Chris Hardwick Erased From Nerdist Site After Chloe Dykstra's Sexual Abuse Claim," 15 June 2018 Likewise, the control booth is designed to appeal to both analog and digital geeks. Frank Digiacomo, Billboard, "Charles Goldstuck Opens State-of-the-Art Bahamas Recording Facility," 17 Apr. 2018 With talking-head input from directors, editors, sound technicians, movie historians, movie geeks, Guillermo del Toro, Janet Leigh’s body double, and Leigh’s daughter Jamie Lee Curtis, this is a frightfully fun 90-minute film class. Ty Burr,, "11 movies to stream when the weather is terrible," 15 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries near geek



gee ho




geek out

Statistics for geek

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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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Comments on geek

What made you want to look up geek? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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