\ 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 wonkery (audio) \ noun
wonkish \ ˈwäŋ-​kish How to pronounce wonkish (audio) \ 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 Former coworkers describe Wolf, 43, as a policy wonk who has been successful in every role he’s undertaken. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "After two decades in Washington, Texan Chad Wolf faces criticism as enforcer of Trump immigration policies," 1 June 2020 That’s one reason why proposals more radical than anything on the Fed’s own radar have been bandied about with growing urgency by monetary policy wonks. Matthew Boesler, Bloomberg.com, "The Fed’s Future Is Already Here as U.S. Joins Zero-Rate World," 5 May 2020 Washington could hardly function without the alphabet soup helping government officials, lobbyists and policy wonks navigate the bureaucracy. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Can You Say EGRRCPA? Tongue-Twister Banking Law Confuses Washington," 1 Sep. 2018 Back in the day Warren, at the time a law professor and to this day a policy wonk, became interested in politics after researching US bankruptcies in the 1980s. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Biden vs Warren: The epic showdown that didn’t happen," 12 Sep. 2019 Why there was a wonk fight over the Mercatus report The dispute between Mercatus’s Charles Blahous and single-payer supporters would have been relegated to an obscure corner of Twitter until media fact-checkers got involved. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The revealing Medicare-for-all fact-check debate roiling the internet, explained," 23 Aug. 2018 His home secretary, Priti Patel, tasked the Migration Advisory Committee, an official panel of wonks, to look to Australia. The Economist, "Points of departure The British government wants to reshape immigration after Brexit," 1 Feb. 2020 Warren fell apart not because of her agenda but because her utter dishonesty about her personal life eroded her credibility as policy wonk. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, "In the End, Warren Was Undone by Her Own Dishonesty," 6 Mar. 2020 Warren has been a solid, measured debater throughout the early stages of the campaign, honing her message and stressing her bona fides as a policy wonk with a human touch, out to fight corruption and bolster the working class. Mike Hofman, Fortune, "Democratic Debate: How to Watch, Start Time—and 8 Key Things to Watch for During It," 15 Oct. 2019

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

10 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wonk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonk. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for wonk


How to pronounce wonk (audio) How to pronounce wonk (audio)

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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