Definition of nerd in English:

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Pronunciation: /nəːd/
(also nurd)


1A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious: I was a serious nerd until I discovered girls and cars
More example sentences
  • Devoid of social skills and eternally depressing, Pekar's voice speaks for nerds, social inadequates and all else on the margins of society.
  • Recently we noticed some net nerds have been forming social clubs under the banner ‘Free Culture’.
  • Most of the editors will readily admit to being any of the following: dorks, nerds, or geeks.
bore, dull person
informal dork, dweeb, geek
British informal anorak, spod
North American informal Poindexter
1.1A single-minded expert in a particular technical field: a computer nerd
More example sentences
  • So what does an under-the-weather computer nerd do to survive a sick day?
  • A brilliant computer nerd overcame entrenched foes and now heads the firm.
  • A self-confessed computer nerd, Schilling is the perfect pitcher for the digital age.



Example sentences
  • He lists the tasks awaiting him with a nerdish enthusiasm: ‘the process things about how you get regulatory approval’, he says - the tax considerations, the listing documents, court filings.
  • These are the things that made him into not just a writer, but a functioning human being, no longer nerdish or obsessive, but alert - and honest - enough to reclaim and make sense of his younger, stranger self.
  • What the average art-lover wants, though, especially from Edinburgh in August, is not nerdish information so much as a memorable visual experience, in this case superb pictures that will exhilarate and electrify.


Example sentences
  • You get used to the opportunities to reinvent yourself as well - by the time I got to Perth, I had realised how easy it was to create my own backstory and circumvent the nerdishness and bullying of previous schools.
  • Once, on a flight across America, I was guilty of a similar display of nerdishness when I looked down to see, and recognise, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
  • No doubt we're supposed to think this is funny, and giggle about this guy's nerdishness behind his back, but he actually makes a lot of good points.


1950s (originally US): of unknown origin.

  • Originally an American term, nerd in the sense of ‘boring, unfashionable person’ was first recorded in 1951. The word itself appeared the previous year in If I Ran the Zoo by Dr Seuss, who seems to have invented it: ‘I'll sail to Ka-Tro / And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo / A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!’ Some think that this is the origin of nerd, but Dr Seuss used the word in nonsense verse as the name of a kind of animal, and there is no connection with the obsessive computer fan we are familiar with. Another theory links the word with the name of Mortimer Snerd, a dummy used by the American ventriloquist Edgar Bergen in the 1930s.

Words that rhyme with nerd

absurd, bird, Byrd, curd, engird, gird, Heard, herd, Kurd, misheard, overheard, reheard, third, undergird, undeterred, unheard, unstirred, word

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nerd

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