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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for egghead

Contemporary Examples of egghead

Historical Examples of egghead

  • "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

  • 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

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

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