What Does NERD Mean?

The term NERD is generally accepted to describe a "clever but socially awkward person." Of note, however, NERD is quickly moving away from a word with a negative connotation (i.e., to brand someone as uncool). Recently, NERD has evolved into a more positive term that simply describes someone with a passion for something (i.e., a science NERD, a music NERD, or a food NERD). It is even starting to take on a cool edge, and increasingly more people are happy to have themselves labelled as a NERD.

Summary of Key Points

Definition for NERD

NERD means "Clever but socially awkward person." This is the most common meaning for NERD on social-media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat.
Definition:Clever but socially awkward person
Type:Slang Word (Jargon)
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for NERD

When I write NERD, I mean this:

meaning of NERD
A NERD is someone who excels in a subject deemed to be uncool.


Examples of NERD in Sentences

Here are examples of NERD being used in conversations:
  • Tony: Hey, have you been watching the new series about space?
  • Jordan: No, NERD. I have a social life.
  • (Here, NERD is offered with a negative connotation.)
  • Tony: Can you fix my PC please. You're an IT NERD.
  • Jordan: Of course.
  • Tony: You're a star. Thanks.
  • (Here, NERD is offered with a positive connotation.)

An Academic Look at NERD

NERD is used as a noun (i.e., a naming word). For example:
  • You are the biggest Maths NERD I've ever met.
  • (Here, NERD is being used as a noun.)

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the 1950s, when NERD was first introduced into society, we might have said something like "drip" or "square" instead of NERD.

Example of NERD Used in a Text


See Also

AVGN (angry video game nerd) 8-| (nerdy (wearing glasses)) NEXY (nerdy and sexy) BOFFIN (geek or expert) NATTY (dapper or smart) Using the music symbols