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nerd +‎ -dom; attested in the USA from 1983.[1] Note that -dom is used both in the sense of “domain” (nerds, as a group) and in the sense of “characteristics” (being a nerd, nerdiness).


  • Hyphenation: nerd‧dom


nerdom (uncountable)

  1. (colloquial, rare) The attitudes and behaviours of a nerd; nerdiness.
    • 1983 April 1, Nan Robertson, “Tigers or ‘top girls,’ Valerie Mahaffey adjusts”, in The New York Times[1], archived from the original on 20 December 2016:
      When she [Valerie Mahaffey] was 17 she fell in love with a schoolmate named Ben: 'Together, we pulled each other out of nerddom,' she said.
    • 1997, Frederick S. Clarke, Cinefantastique, volume 29:
      The self-described "exemplar of nerdom" feels right at home with Carl Sagan's speculative science-fiction.
    • 2008 October, Will Smith, “Why Does Hollywood Give Nerds a Bad Rap?”, in Maximum PC, San Francisco, Calif.: Future US, ISSN 1522-4279, page 9:
      Even movies that first appear to add a promising element of nerdom always end up doing something dumb, like tarnishing a tense computer-based drama with idiotic and unusable (but oh so very sexy) 3D interfaces.
  2. (colloquial, rare) Nerds considered as a group.
    • 2009, Mark Dalrymple, “Foreword”, in Jack Nutting; Dave Mark; Jeff LaMarche, Learn Cocoa on the Mac (Books for Professionals by Professionals), [New York, N.Y.]: Apress, →ISBN, page xi:
      I still chuckle at some of [the] jokes that we targeted to very narrow slices of nerdom.

Usage notes[edit]

The rough synonym geekdom is more common.[1]

Alternative forms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Paul McFedries (26 March 2008), “nerddom”, in Word Spy, Logophilia Limited, retrieved 4 June 2017.