\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

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 The vest’s bright color and laid-back design were far from stuffy, while its pairing with a T-shirt converted the geek staple into a cool dad go-to. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Ryan Gosling in a Sweater Vest Is the Pinnacle of Hot Dad Fashion," 29 Aug. 2018 Regardless, this is a significant upgrade for the Shield TV, and further cements its status as the streamer that geeks should get. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia Shield TV levels up to full-featured PC gaming with free GeForce Now beta," 11 July 2018 For lawn geeks like him, the attractions also include spending time outdoors and meeting their (often envious) neighbors. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Plucking Blades by Hand, Vacuuming the Grass: This Is Extreme Lawn Care," 15 July 2018 For beer geeks, festivals are a chance to check a brew off the beer bucket list or, at the least, the Untapped beer app. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A summer (and fall) guide to beer and cider festivals," 14 May 2018 And its Diamond Distillery is a mecca for rum geeks. Kate Krader,, "These Caribbean rum distilleries are worth a vacation in themselves," 14 May 2018 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

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

3 Dec 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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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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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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