\ 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

Previous SlideNext Slide The Super Smash Con gallery includes a healthy dollop of cosplay, which is a good reminder that most of our convention coverage has included snapshots of fans dressed as their favorite gaming and geek-culture characters. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Our favorite gaming studios, expos, museum exhibits—in a photo blowout," 24 Aug. 2019 But Klickstein also delivers a searing critique of geek culture and the trouble with indulging nostalgia at the expense of reckoning with reality. Julie Kliegman, Washington Post, "Mathew Klickstein has made a career out of nostalgia. Now he’s satirizing our yearning for the past.," 14 Aug. 2019 In time for World Emoji Day (July 17), the Unicode Consortium, which decides on new emojis, is eager to shed its reputation as a community only for computer geeks. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Proposing your own 💡 for an emoji just got a bit easier," 17 July 2019 Theme Park Rangers Dewayne Bevil and Patrick Connolly discuss why a trip to the Cape is a must for space geeks young and old. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts,, "PODCAST: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex captures renewed interest in space spurred by Apollo 11 anniversary (Ep. 7)," 11 July 2019 Weber might not have been up in the air, but piloting an exact replica of a 747 isn’t bad for a sixth grader—especially an aviation geek like him. Noah Kaufman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Peter From 'The Bachelorette' Could Be Piloting Your Next Delta Flight," 20 Aug. 2019 Even they, sociopathic losers and charmless geeks alike, strive to do the decent thing. The Economist, "Mick Herron’s novels are a satirical chronicle of modern Britain," 15 Aug. 2019 Not only did SpaceX demonstrate the prowess of the Falcon Heavy, but the company also captured the imaginations of rocket geeks and non-space followers alike. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 Once aloof and elitist, Broadway has in recent years overtly embraced its connection to the college and high school theater productions that dot the nation, often packed with newly cool Broadway geeks and devoted audience members. Chris Jones,, "Tony Awards honor Chicago's David Cromer and Laurie Metcalf," 10 June 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

8 Oct 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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