\ ˈwäŋk How to pronounce wonk (audio) , ˈwȯŋk How to pronounce wonk (audio) \

Definition of wonk

: a person preoccupied with arcane details or procedures in a specialized field broadly : nerd a policy wonk a computer wonk

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Other Words from wonk

wonkery \ ˈwäŋ-​kə-​rē How to pronounce wonk (audio) , ˈwȯŋ-​ \ noun
wonkish \ ˈwäŋ-​kish How to pronounce wonk (audio) , ˈwȯŋ-​ \ adjective
wonkishness noun

Synonyms for wonk


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Examples of wonk in a Sentence

the policy wonks in the government the candidate has an army of policy wonks ready to write for him a position paper on virtually any issue
Recent Examples on the Web In her new novel, that policy-wonk mind overrides her storyteller's heart, on display in her interviews about voting rights and her eight romance novels, published under the name Selena Montgomery. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 15 May 2021 Shaun Donovan, the former federal housing secretary, is trying to distinguish himself in the crowded field as the policy wonk who has the best proposals to improve the city. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2021 John Smith, who met Poetz in 1990 while working for The Arc organization, said his friend was a policy wonk and expert at navigating Minnesota politics. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, 7 Apr. 2021 Not a whiff of corruption, during all those years, from the basketball-playing policy wonk working on the reduction and someday elimination of nuclear weapons. Darryl Pinckney, The New York Review of Books, 9 Mar. 2021 Buttigieg positioned himself on the campaign trail as a policy wonk and a common-sense bridge builder, vowing to bring a fresh approach to government and leave behind partisan bunkers. Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2021 Henry Cisneros is an unapologetic infrastructure wonk. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Feb. 2021 Cupp is well-liked and generally considered a policy wonk. cleveland, 27 Dec. 2020 President-elect Joe Biden is setting up his first confirmation fight with Senate Republicans by choosing Neera Tanden -- a sometimes-acerbic Democratic policy wonk with an often-partisan Twitter feed -- to serve as his White House budget chief. Mike Dorning, Bloomberg.com, 1 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wonk.' 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 wonk

1954, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wonk

origin unknown

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Statistics for wonk

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wonk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonk. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of wonk

US, informal + sometimes disapproving : a person who knows a lot about the details of a particular field (such as politics) and often talks a lot about that subject

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