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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1978, from nerd + -y (2). Related: Nerdiness.


a. 1 (context colloquial derogatory of a person English) Being or like a nerd. 2 (context colloquial derogatory of a quality or interest English) Of, pertaining to, in the style of, or appealing to nerds.

Usage examples of "nerdy".

Then her attention was snagged by an anomalous audience member: some nerdy guy scribbling notes with a stylus on his PDA.

Wedgwood cup with the handle she broke, dreaming of living in Paris like de Beauvoir and Sartre, and going home that day laughing to herself about the nerdy Jack Salmon, who was pretty cute even if he hated smoke.

Social Security, and politics is boringcomplex, abstract, dry, the province of policy wonks and Rush Limbaugh and nerdy little guys on PBS, and basically who cares.

She could hear him breathing hard, and guessed that this was probably more physical exercise than the nerdy scientist had undergone in years.

And little round nerdy glasses and, oh, God, a plastic pocket protector full of pens and pencils.

Maguire brought great sweetness and vulnerability to the nerdy, lovelorn loser who comes of age as a superhero.

Trying to find a nice nerdy guy who had won ten thousand dollars or more in a nameless casino somf where in Las Vegas several months before seemed 111 an impossible task.

He was in his mid-twenties, with the myopic eyes and prematurely receding hairline that Cavanaugh associated with a certain kind of student: intense, dedicated, nerdy, and smart as hell.

The awkward, nerdy teenager she had known in California had meta-morphosed into an entirely different person in the decade since she had befriended him and his mother.

Peabody launched up a hand like the nerdy kid in class who screwed the grading curve for everybody else.

I had done some interview work for fanzines as a nerdy fanboy in Augusta Georgia.

Edwina did command enough bells-and-whistles machinery to satisfy even the nerdiest of technogeeks, she chose not to show them off.

I'm a nerdy Elmer Fudd spouting bullshit tests I made up, and these two girls whose collective breasts weigh more than me were staring at me rapt.

Randy could probably estimate the amount of kinetic energy the house picked up during this fall, and convert it to an equivalent in pounds of dynamite or swings of a wrecking ball, but it would be a nerdy exercise, since he can see the effects for himself.