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[eg-hed] /ˈɛgˌhɛd/
noun, Slang: Usually Disparaging.
an intellectual.
Origin of egghead
1915-20; egg1 + head; by analogy with someone who is bald
Usage note
This term is usually used with disparaging intent, implying that an intellectual is out-of-touch with ordinary people. Though first used by journalists to insult editorial writers, egghead was popularized as an epithet of Adlai Stevenson, the 1952 Democratic presidential candidate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for egghead
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You're too smart for your own britches, egghead," Crowley snarled.

    The Common Man Guy McCord (AKA Dallas McCord Reynolds)
  • On the porch was the egghead feeding ice cream to Mimi Lafontaine.

    Skippy Bedelle Owen Johnson
  • "egghead, you are both intelligent and comforting," said Hickey.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • The Goat had gone first, then the egghead, with Smith bringing up the rear.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • Butcher and egghead have got to take two each—that would make sixteen.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • "Beauty's sister," said the egghead, gaping with astonishment.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • He flipped the card disdainfully to the egghead, saying, "A bunch of freaks!"

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for egghead


(informal) an intellectual; highbrow
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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Word Origin and History for egghead

1907, "bald person," from egg (n.) + head (n.). Sense of "intellectual" is attested from 1918, among Chicago newspapermen; popularized by U.S. syndicated columnist Stewart Alsop in 1952 in reference to Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign.

Adlai Stevenson once told what it was like to be the rare intellectual in politics. "Via ovicapitum dura est," he said, the way of the egghead is hard. [New York Times, Oct. 28, 1982]

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



  1. A bald man (1950s+)
  2. An intellectual; thinker; double dome •Revived in the 1950s to designate the followers of Adlai Stevenson: An egghead is ''one who calls Marilyn Monroe Mrs Arthur Miller'' (1907+)

[second sense presumably fr the putative high, domed, egg-shaped heads of such persons; the term was used in a letter of Carl Sandburg about 1918]

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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