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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for nerd

fool, weirdo, jerk, techie, oaf, dolt, goober, dweeb, goofball, dork, trekkie

Examples from the Web for nerd

Contemporary Examples of nerd

Historical Examples of nerd

  • 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 specifieda computer nerd
a stupid and feeble person
Derived Formsnerdish or nurdish, adjectivenerdy or 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

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