\ 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


bookworm, dink [slang], dork [slang], geek, grind, nerd, swot [British], weenie

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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

Still, Warren also has fans in the center of the party who respect her technocratic, policy-wonk style. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Will Democratic front-runners regret rejecting private insurance?," 28 June 2019 But infrastructure wonks warn this sort of tragedy shouldn’t scare Americans away from new bridges, or bridge repairs. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "The Ordinary Engineering Behind the Horrifying Florida Bridge Collapse," 16 Mar. 2018 Governments, such as Britain’s New Labour, grew increasingly technocratic, staffed by policy wonks. R.c., The Economist, "The political nausea when feelings replace facts," 21 June 2019 And as countless health wonks have noted, there are lots of problems with that. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Trump Is Expanding Obamacare . . . in a Good Way," 16 June 2019 The laughter was because Warren is becoming known as the wonk who has a policy paper for every issue. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Elizabeth Warren can win the nomination. California is key," 8 June 2019 Instead, politicians and wonks are fixated on government investment. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "The Sick Man of Europe Risks a Relapse," 19 July 2018 Exxon is advocating a standard conservative carbon tax model Policy wonks and the IPCC are generally in agreement that pricing greenhouse gas emissions is a critical measure in fighting climate change. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Exxon is lobbying for a carbon tax. There is, obviously, a catch.," 18 Oct. 2018 The data wonks and eggheads who now control the sport have taken one of the game’s most fundamental numbers, chewed it up and spat out its tattered remains like a bag of sunflower seeds. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Mets Are So Bad They Killed the Win," 7 Aug. 2018

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

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for wonk

The first known use of wonk was in 1954

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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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Comments on wonk

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something desired as essential

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