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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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Examples from the Web for geeky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Darryl and I, when we traded keys, that was kind of a mini-keysigning party, one with only two sad and geeky attendees.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • She was gaunt and tall and geeky and talked like an engineer, with the nerd accent.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • A couple of geeky Korean kids were seated at the communal workbench, eating donuts and wrestling with drivers.

British Dictionary definitions for geeky


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 geeky

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

by 1985, from geek (n.) in teen slang sense + -y (2).



"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 geeky



Eccentric and repulsive; weird, creepy, nerdly: Kia sets her up with geeky granola-type Ely/ the geeky game played at company picnics/ Maybe you have a geekazoid freshman brother who is the designated wedgie-victim of the entire 11th grade (1980s+)



  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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