Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[nurd] /nɜrd/
noun, Slang.
a person considered to be socially awkward, boring, unstylish, etc.
an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit:
a computer nerd.
Sometimes, nurd.
Origin of nerd
An Americanism dating back to 1950-55; obscurely derived expressive formation
Word story
See geek. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for nerd
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was gaunt and tall and geeky and talked like an engineer, with the nerd accent.


    Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for nerd


noun (slang)
a boring or unpopular person, esp one obsessed with something specified: a computer nerd
a stupid and feeble person
Derived Forms
nerdish, nurdish, adjective
nerdy, nurdy, adjective
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
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for nerd

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

1951, U.S. student slang, probably an alteration of 1940s slang nert "stupid or crazy person," itself an alteration of nut. The word turns up in a Dr. Seuss book from 1950 ("If I Ran the Zoo"), which may have contributed to its rise.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for nerd



: Norton represents a new type of American rich person: the nerd tycoon/ a mix between journalism and nerd heaven, with its sophisticated desktop equipment and absence of paper


  1. (also nerdboy or nurd) A tedious, contemptible person; dork, dweeb, jerk: In Detroit, someone who once would be called a drip or a square is now, regrettably a nerd, or in a less severe case, a scurve/ What about a total dweeb? Yup. Geek? Yup. Nerdboy? Yup. (1951+ Teenagers)
  2. An over-studious person, esp a computer devotee, usually pictured with horn-rimmed spectacles and often buck teeth: She's definitely a word nerd •In some uses nearly synonymous with ''hacker'' (1980s+ Students)

[probably fr the 1950 children's book If I Ran the Zoo, by ''Dr. Seuss,'' where a nerd is one of the desired animals]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for nerd

Difficulty index for nerd

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for nerd

Scrabble Words With Friends