Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy.
  • n. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
  • n. A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
  • transitive v. To excite emotionally: I'm geeked about that new video game.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A carnival performer specializing in bizarre and unappetizing behavior.
  • n. A person who is intensely interested in a particular field or hobby and usually asocial. Often used with an attributive noun.
  • n. An expert in a technical field, particularly one having to do with computers.
  • n. The subculture of geeks; an esoteric subject of interest that is marginal to the social mainstream; the philosophy, events, and physical artifacts of geeks.
  • n. An unfashionable or socially undesirable person.
  • n. A look.
  • v. To get high on cocaine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A performer in a carnival, often presented as a wild man, who performs grotesquely disgusting acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken or snake.
  • n. Any eccentric or strange person; an oddball; an eccentric.
  • n. A student who is socially inept and a misfit in his class, especially one who is an intellectual; a nerd; a dork.
  • n. An intellectually inclined person, especially one who is interested in scientific or technical subjects; ; -- originally a deprecatory and contemptuous term, but in the 1990's, with the increase in popularity of computers and the frequency of accumulation of great wealth by computer entrepreneurs, it has come to be used with noticeable frequency by technically competent people to refer to themselves, ironically and sometimes proudly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a carnival performer who does disgusting acts
  • n. a person with an unusual or odd personality

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of dialectal geck, fool, from Low German gek, from Middle Low German.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From British dialect geck ("fool") from Low German geck, from Middle Low German; The root still survives in Dutch gek ("crazy") or gekkie ("crazy person") in Alsatian word Gickeleshut ("geek's hat"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "The geek was a thin man who wore a suit of long underwear dyed chocolate brown. The wig was black and looked like a mop, and the brown greasepaint on the emaciated face was streaked and smeared with the heat and rubbed off around the mouth."

    - Nightmare Alley, William Lindsay Gresham

    June 30, 2012

  • Geek evolution

    (via SoG on twitter)

    October 22, 2010

  • You hand in your ticket
    And you go watch the geek
    Who immediately walks up to you
    When he hears you speak
    And says, "How does it feel
    To be such a freak?"
    And you say, "Impossible"
    As he hands you a bone - Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man

    October 13, 2007