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[geek] /gik/ Slang.
a digital-technology expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often used disparagingly by others).
a person who has excessive enthusiasm for and some expertise about a specialized subject or activity:
a foreign-film geek.
a peculiar person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual, unfashionable, or socially awkward.
a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.
verb (used without object)
to be overexcited about a specialized subject or activity, or to talk about it with excessive enthusiasm (usually followed by out):
I could geek out about sci-fi for hours.
Origin of geek
1915- 20; probably variant of geck (mainly Scots) fool < Dutch or Low German gek
Related forms
geeky, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for geek out


noun (slang)
a person who is preoccupied with or very knowledgeable about computing
a boring and unattractive social misfit
a degenerate
Derived Forms
geeky, adjective
Word Origin
C19: probably variant of Scottish geck fool, from Middle Low German geck
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for geek out

See gearhead's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for geek out



"sideshow freak," 1916, U.S. carnival and circus slang, perhaps a variant of geck "a fool, dupe, simpleton" (1510s), apparently from Low German geck, from an imitative verb found in North Sea Germanic and Scandinavian meaning "to croak, cackle," and also "to mock, cheat." The modern form and the popular use with reference to circus sideshow "wild men" is from 1946, in William Lindsay Gresham's novel "Nightmare Alley" (made into a film in 1947 starring Tyrone Power).

"An ordinary geek doesn't actually eat snakes, just bites off chunks of 'em, chicken heads and rats." [Arthur H. Lewis, "Carnival," 1970]
By c.1983, used in teenager slang in reference to peers who lacked social graces but were obsessed with new technology and computers (e.g. the Anthony Michael Hall character in 1984's "Sixteen Candles").
geek out vi. To temporarily enter techno-nerd mode while in a non-hackish context, for example at parties held near computer equipment. [Eric S. Raymond, "The New Hacker's Dictionary," 1996]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for geek out

geek out

verb phrase

  1. To speak about computers in specialized technical language, esp among noninitiates: Go hang around a mouse potato and see if you can get him to geek out and do a brain dump
  2. To do programming with obsessive intensity: Not infrequently, Michael locks himself inside and geeks out on code (1990s+ Computer)



  1. A sideshow freak, esp one who does revolting things like biting the heads off live chickens (1920s+ Carnival & circus)
  2. A snake charmer (1920s+ Carnival & circus)
  3. A pervert or degenerate, esp one who will do disgusting things to slake deviant appetites; creep, weirdo (1920s+ Carnival & circus)
  4. (also geekoid) A devotee; fan; freak, nerd: and assorted science-fiction geeks around the world who actually call themselves cyberpunk (1990s+)

Related Terms


[origin unknown; perhaps related to British dialect geck, geke, ''fool''; according to David Maurer, ''said to have originated with a man named Wagner of Charleston, WV, whose hideous snake-eating act made him famous'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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geek out in Technology

To temporarily enter techno-nerd mode while in a non-hackish context, for example at parties held near computer equipment. Especially used when you need to do or say something highly technical and don't have time to explain: "Pardon me while I geek out for a moment."
See computer geek, propeller head.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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