Definition of nerd in US English:



  • 1A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.

    ‘one of those nerds who never asked a girl to dance’
    • ‘Actually he's probably both; a geeky nerd or a nerdy geek.’
    • ‘People who work in the Internet industry on the other hand are viewed as nerds, geeks, dweebs and propeller heads.’
    • ‘Geeks and nerds produced the art and science that define the modern age.’
    • ‘Women do not consider careers in IT because they think they are careers for geeks, nerds, workaholics or all of the above.’
    • ‘They were a group made up mostly of men who were all nerds and geeks and dorks in high school who went on to become brilliant and funny and irresistible in college.’
    • ‘A geek is a nerd who knows lots about one thing that everyone else ignores.’
    • ‘The surprising thing is that he is not a boring nerd; he's got a wonderful sense of humor and he loves to dance.’
    • ‘The first 30 minutes were geek heaven; nerds in white shirts doing a Mamet version of technobabble.’
    • ‘Recently we noticed some net nerds have been forming social clubs under the banner ‘Free Culture’.’
    • ‘At the time it was still widely referred to as the ‘information superhighway’ and those who knew how to navigate it were dismissed as nerds and geeks.’
    • ‘By motivating teachers and students about physics, he also hopes to remove the stigma that physics is boring and only for nerds.’
    • ‘In vain, I glanced towards the nerds and geeks in the front row, hoping to get some help.’
    • ‘This, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between a geek and a nerd.’
    • ‘How many nerds and dorks do you see standing in front of the ‘I love you section’ at the card store?’
    • ‘Most of the editors will readily admit to being any of the following: dorks, nerds, or geeks.’
    • ‘By now you may have guessed that blackjack is a nerd's game, requiring a minimum of social skills.’
    • ‘I'm not a geek, or a nerd, and the vast majority of the attention I get is from women who think I'm good looking.’
    • ‘They had things in common with us nerds, and by graduating year the social strata were almost gone.’
    • ‘Devoid of social skills and eternally depressing, Pekar's voice speaks for nerds, social inadequates and all else on the margins of society.’
    • ‘The play is about a timid nerd who discovers a strange plant that can make any Joe Soap really famous.’
    bore, dull person
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A single-minded expert in a particular technical field.
      ‘a computer nerd’
      • ‘After 10 years on the Internet I am finally the stereotypical Web nerd whose site contains pictures of my cat.’
      • ‘He was a resident computer nerd who had two brothers and a baby sister.’
      • ‘So what does an under-the-weather computer nerd do to survive a sick day?’
      • ‘Yes, there is a difference between band nerds and band geeks.’
      • ‘That was from when she played the school computer nerd a couple of years ago.’
      • ‘The employee went away as the standard IT nerd but when he came back he was totally different and we put it down to their policy for promoting life outside work.’
      • ‘As a pilot and techno nerd who's worked with GPS for years, I trust Garmin and Magellan.’
      • ‘What had been a niche market for technology nerds soon became a mass market as consumers discovered the benefits of computing, said Atherton.’
      • ‘There were just so many errors in there that the outraged grammar nerd inside me froze up and died a little, giving way to bewildered amusement.’
      • ‘The best character in the film is the geeky computer nerd, parked at a desk in Mission Control.’
      • ‘Great literature sparks pictures in his head, as it does for any book nerd.’
      • ‘A brilliant computer nerd overcame entrenched foes and now heads the firm.’
      • ‘Take those computer nerds out of the total, and the numbers are down by half a million people and £36.4billion.’
      • ‘A self-confessed computer nerd, Schilling is the perfect pitcher for the digital age.’
      • ‘Nor did they dismiss his dream of making his living in film, perhaps as a special effects nerd.’
      • ‘A lot of British pop beaches itself on our shores, but it's rare to find the voice of the common English punk nerd.’
      • ‘As a Dungeons and Dragons nerd, it is an easier transition than you'd think to get into the sporting realm.’
      • ‘It's a chick flick that your average home theater nerd isn't going to bother with.’
      • ‘Besides, you can't have a fight when the other guy turns out to be a mild-mannered book nerd.’
      • ‘This is the part of the review where I indulge my inner history nerd, so stick with me.’


1950s (originally US): of unknown origin.