nud·​nik | \ ˈnu̇d-nik How to pronounce nudnik (audio) \
variants: or less commonly nudnick

Definition of nudnik

: a person who is a bore or nuisance

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The suffix -nik came to English through Yiddish (and ultimately from Polish and Ukrainian). It means "one connected with or characterized by being." You might be familiar with "beatnik," "computernik," or "neatnik," but what about "no-goodnik" or "allrightnik"? The suffix -nik is frequently used in English to create nonce words that are often jocular or slightly derogatory. Some theorize that the popularity of the suffix was enhanced by Russian "Sputnik," as well as Al Capp's frequent use of "-nik" words in his "L'il Abner" cartoons. The "nud-" of the Yiddish borrowing "nudnik" ultimately comes from the Polish word nuda, meaning "boredom."

Examples of nudnik in a Sentence

dreads family gatherings, as that nudnik of a brother-in-law is always sure to be there nobody wants to hang around with that nudnik—all he wants to do is talk shop
Recent Examples on the Web The Word Mavens, are the authors of a new book, The Whole Spiel: Funny essays about digital nudniks, seder selfies and chicken soup memories. Connect with them at, "Rosh Hashanah: Not your bubbe's honey cake," 13 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nudnik.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nudnik

1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nudnik

Yiddish nudnik, from nudyen to bore, from Polish nudzić, from nuda boredom

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nudnik

Time Traveler for nudnik

Time Traveler

The first known use of nudnik was in 1916

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about nudnik

Statistics for nudnik

Cite this Entry

“Nudnik.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on nudnik

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nudnik

Comments on nudnik

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!