\ 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

But cyberwar wonks also say that old-fashioned deterrence needs to play a role, too. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Cyberwar," 23 Aug. 2019 Special economic zones and tax reform are among the wheezes his wonks propose. The Economist, "Guatemala’s president-elect promises “sufficient testosterone”," 15 Aug. 2019 Aside from the prospect of attacks on safety systems and the looming possibility of another NotPetya-style worm, plenty of other nightmare hypotheticals continue to trouble the sleep of cyberwar wonks. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Cyberwar," 23 Aug. 2019 That a wellness guru is competing on the big stage against statesmen, governors, and policy wonks confirms what polls and pundits have told us: Many people want Oprah to be president. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "Marianne Williamson Is A Wellness Guru Running For President. Really," 25 June 2019 Progressive wonks take heart from a line of research papers indicating that minimum wage hikes don’t cause job losses. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The controversy over Bernie Sanders’s low-paid field staffers, explained," 20 July 2019 For the wonks, meanwhile, there’d be model legislation to expand and incentivize employee ownership throughout the economy. John Case, The New Republic, "An Economy in Waiting," 8 July 2019 This is far from an exhaustive list, and Mr. Trump won’t win as a policy wonk in any case. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Second Term for What?," 19 June 2019 On the live show, the science wonk invites expert guests to help him answer questions on how to maximize your energy efficiency or live longer. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 10 Best New Podcasts of the Year So Far," 21 June 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

17 Sep 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

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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