Definition of anorak in English:



  • 1A waterproof jacket, typically with a hood, of a kind originally used in polar regions.

    • ‘When Paul, a single man, went missing, he was wearing a blue striped shirt, green anorak and a green baseball cap.’
    • ‘The same children who yesterday were in anoraks and mittens now play football in shorts, football jerseys tied around their waists.’
    • ‘She'd dressed for a casual hike: sensible shoes, long silk underwear, jeans - which she was proud to still fit into - a turtleneck, a wool sweater, and an anorak.’
    • ‘As my sister distracted the guards, I pulled up the hood from my anorak and quickly disappeared into the large crowd.’
    • ‘At least in America, you can go outside without a massive anorak and an umbrella; Ireland's weather sucks.’
    • ‘She had a shopping basket on the front of the bicycle and seemed to be wearing a blue anorak with a hood.’
    • ‘But no, they all came in an anorak or windcheater and a untidy motley lot they were.’
    • ‘Under his grey anorak he wears a dark blue overall.’
    • ‘Particularly important are a windproof jacket, or anorak, with hood or hat and a stout pair of walking boots or shoes as they may have to cross some rough ground to see the best wildlife.’
    • ‘I was fine, wrapped in my weatherproof anorak with the hood up, and found the walk from one end of the precinct to the other a bracing and refreshing experience.’
    • ‘Forget bijou hats, floating chiffon and strappy sandals - ear-muffs, padded anoraks and sensible shoes are the required dress here.’
    • ‘A fine drizzle had developed, so I wore my waterproof anorak and pulled the hood up to keep from getting too wet.’
    • ‘Today Southampton detectives appealed for the public's help in catching the burglar, who was white, aged 15 or 16 with fair hair and wore a grey anorak or fleece jacket.’
    • ‘He wore a dark blue anorak with the hood up, blue jeans and light coloured trainers.’
    • ‘And the other 5% of men are weirdos - the type who wear anoraks in night-clubs and socks in bed.’
    • ‘Gavin stood in front of us in a brown anorak with the zip all the way up, no doubt with a neat shirt and tie underneath.’
    • ‘They appeared even less interested in ecology than I was, going through the motions in their wellingtons and anoraks, as if they were stood in a draughty lecture theatre rather than in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.’
    • ‘A lot of the people I've seen hunting have actually gone in anoraks, and who most townies would describe as thick country bumpkins.’
    • ‘Her son was dressed in an anorak and she had only a denim jacket to keep out the cold.’
    • ‘He is described as 5ft 6ins, with brown balding hair, grey stubble and was wearing grey trousers, an orange long sleeve shirt, a mustard coloured felt blazer and a black anorak.’
  • 2British derogatory, informal A studious or obsessive person with unfashionable and largely solitary interests.

    ‘with his thick specs, shabby shoes, and grey suit, he looks a bit of an anorak’
    • ‘Political anoraks are spoilt for choice this Christmas with three political guides on sale to take them through the hectic events of the past year.’
    • ‘Before Olympic anoraks start writing letters, we know the 1906 Intercalated games don't count as an official Olympiad.’
    • ‘It was at times tedious stuff, even for tribunal anoraks.’
    • ‘He's a bit of an anorak, but he's got some nice ideas.’
    • ‘But throughout the book the author drives the story along at a cracking pace, always accurate - but not a book for anoraks.’
    • ‘But for the history anoraks this was lightning striking twice.’
    • ‘We can't help feeling that once the anoraks get wind of this, trainspotting may become last year's ‘must do’ leisure-time activity.’
    • ‘At the risk of being labelled an anorak, I love trains.’
    • ‘That's because I'm a bit of an anorak when it comes to cars and most vehicles do leave an impression, whether good, bad or indifferent.’
    • ‘In Britain they are often called trainspotters or anoraks, and their encyclopedic knowledge, singular focus, and endless talking about their hobby often make them bores to be around.’
    • ‘For the anoraks, there are also graphs on both companies' homepages which show how much electricity each part of the island is using per day.’
    • ‘Political anoraks who want to get ahead of the game should read Winning Back America, the former Vermont governor's recently published campaign autobiography.’
    • ‘It wasn't just the usual geeks, anoraks and trainspotters that you would expect.’
    • ‘Suddenly I feel like one of those anoraks who criticise the Miss Marple films because they're set in 1951, and that model of bus wasn't introduced until 1953.’
    • ‘I'm a bit of a comedy anorak really.’
    • ‘Music anoraks may remember Jesse Malin from his days as frontman of hardcore punk band D Generation but ‘The Fine Art Of Self Destruction’ is a far cry from back then.’
    • ‘The cult boardgame that was the entertainment of choice for anoraks and geeks in the days before the internet chat-room, Dungeons And Dragons has made it to the big screen.’
    • ‘My children think I'm a bit of an anorak, but I enjoy it.’
    • ‘Wine anoraks know that these wines are made from Chardonnay grapes, but most drinkers associate Chablis with a taste, not its component parts, and they buy it because they like it, and the idea of it.’
    • ‘She shares her father's love of programmes that, face it, are never going to make any sense, even to those anoraks who later go through the episodes frame by frame.’
    bore, dull person
    View synonyms


1920s: from Greenlandic anoraq. The British English informal sense dates from the 1980s and derives from the anoraks worn by trainspotters, regarded as typifying this kind of person.