nud·​nik ˈnu̇d-nik How to pronounce nudnik (audio)
variants or less commonly nudnick
: a person who is a bore or nuisance

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, peacenik, 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 nuda, meaning "boredom."

Example Sentences

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, 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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1916, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nudnik was in 1916


Dictionary Entries Near nudnik

Cite this Entry

“Nudnik.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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