a person or thing that hacks.
Slang. a person who engages in an activity without talent or skill: weekend hackers on the golf course.
Computer Slang.
a computer enthusiast.
a microcomputer user who attempts to gain unauthorized access to proprietary computer systems.

1200–50; Middle English (as surname); see hack1, -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [hak]
a person, as an artist or writer, who exploits, for money, his or her creative ability or training in the production of dull, unimaginative, and trite work; one who produces banal and mediocre work in the hope of gaining commercial success in the arts: As a painter, he was little more than a hack.
a professional who renounces or surrenders individual independence, integrity, belief, etc., in return for money or other reward in the performance of a task normally thought of as involving a strong personal commitment: a political hack.
a writer who works on the staff of a publisher at a dull or routine task; someone who works as a literary drudge: He was one among the many hacks on Grub Street. scribbler.
a horse kept for common hire or adapted for general work, especially ordinary riding.
a saddle horse used for transportation, rather than for show, hunting, or the like.
an old or worn-out horse; jade.
a coach or carriage kept for hire; hackney.
a taxi.
Also, hackie. a cabdriver.
Slang. a prison guard.
verb (used with object)
to make a hack of; let out for hire. lease, rent.
to make trite or stale by frequent use; hackney.
verb (used without object)
Informal. to drive a taxi.
to ride or drive on the road at an ordinary pace, as distinguished from cross-country riding or racing.
British. to rent a horse, especially by the hour.
hired as a hack; of a hired sort: a hack writer; hack work.
hackneyed; trite; banal: hack writing.

1680–90; short for hackney

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To hacker
World English Dictionary
hack1 (hæk)
vb (when intr, usually foll by at or away)
1.  to cut or chop (at) irregularly, roughly, or violently
2.  to cut and clear (a way, path, etc), as through undergrowth
3.  (in sport, esp rugby) to foul (an opposing player) by kicking or striking his shins
4.  basketball to commit the foul of striking (an opposing player) on the arm
5.  (intr) to cough in short dry spasmodic bursts
6.  (tr) to reduce or cut (a story, article, etc) in a damaging way
7.  to manipulate a computer program skilfully, esp, to gain unauthorized access to another computer system
8.  slang (tr) to tolerate; cope with: I joined the army but I couldn't hack it
9.  hack to bits to damage severely: his reputation was hacked to bits
10.  a cut, chop, notch, or gash, esp as made by a knife or axe
11.  any tool used for shallow digging, such as a mattock or pick
12.  a chopping blow
13.  a dry spasmodic cough
14.  a kick on the shins, as in rugby
15.  a wound from a sharp kick
[Old English haccian; related to Old Frisian hackia, Middle High German hacken]

hack2 (hæk)
1.  a horse kept for riding or (more rarely) for driving
2.  an old, ill-bred, or overworked horse
3.  a horse kept for hire
4.  (Brit) a country ride on horseback
5.  a drudge
6.  a person who produces mediocre literary or journalistic work
7.  (US) Also called: hackney a coach or carriage that is for hire
8.  informal (US) Also called: hackie
 a.  a cab driver
 b.  a taxi
9.  (Brit) to ride (a horse) cross-country for pleasure
10.  (tr) to let (a horse) out for hire
11.  informal (tr) to write (an article) as or in the manner of a hack
12.  informal (US) (intr) to drive a taxi
13.  (prenominal) banal, mediocre, or unoriginal: hack writing
[C17: short for hackney]

hack3 (hæk)
1.  a rack used for fodder for livestock
2.  a board on which meat is placed for a hawk
3.  a pile or row of unfired bricks stacked to dry
4.  to place (fodder) in a hack
5.  to place (bricks) in a hack
[C16: variant of hatch²]

hacker (ˈhækə)
1.  a person that hacks
2.  slang a computer fanatic, esp one who through a personal computer breaks into the computer system of a company, government, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

in O.E. tohaccian "hack to pieces," from W.Gmc. *khak- (cf. O.Fris. hackia, Du. hakken, O.H.G. hacchon), perhaps infl. by O.N. höggva "to hack, hew," from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike." Sense of "short, dry cough" is 1802. Noun meaning "an act of hacking" is from 1836; fig. sense of "a try, an attempt"
is first attested 1898. Slang sense of "cope with" (such as in can't hack it) is first recorded in Amer.Eng. 1955, with a sense of "get through by some effort," as a jungle.

c.1700, originally, "person hired to do routine work," short for hackney "an ordinary horse" (c.1300), probably from place name Hackney (Middlesex), from O.E. Hacan ieg "Haca's Isle" (or possibly "Hook Island"). Now well within London, it was once pastoral. Apparently nags were raised on the pastureland
there in early medieval times and taken to Smithfield horse market (cf. Fr. haquenée "ambling nag," an Eng. loan-word). Extended sense of "horse for hire" (late 14c.) led naturally to "broken-down nag," and also "prostitute" (1570s) and "drudge" (1540s). Special sense of "one who writes anything for hire" led to hackneyed "trite" (1749); hack writer is first recorded 1826, though hackney writer is at least 50 years earlier. Sense of "carriage for hire" (1704) led to modern slang for "taxicab."

"one who gains unauthorized access to computer records," 1983; see hack (2). Said to be from slightly earlier tech slang sense of "one who works like a hack at writing and experimenting with software, one who enjoys computer programming for its own sake," 1976, reputedly a
usage that evolved at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (however an MIT student from the late 1960s recalls hack (n.) being used then and there in the general sense of "creative prank," which clouds its sense connection with the "writing for hire" word, and there may be a source or an influence here in hack (1)). The verb hack meaning "illegally enter a computer system" is first recorded 1984.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

hacker definition

person, jargon
(Originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe) 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.
2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.
3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.
4. A person who is good at programming quickly.
5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in "a Unix hacker". (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)
6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.
7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.
8. (Deprecated) A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence "password hacker", "network hacker". The correct term is cracker.
The term "hacker" also tends to connote membership in the global community defined by the net (see The Network and Internet address). It also implies that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker ethic.
It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe oneself that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an elite (a meritocracy based on ability), though one to which new members are gladly welcome. Thus while it is gratifying to be called a hacker, false claimants to the title are quickly labelled as "bogus" or a "wannabee".
9. (University of Maryland, rare) A programmer who does not understand proper programming techniques and principles and doesn't have a Computer Science degree. Someone who just bangs on the keyboard until something happens. For example, "This program is nothing but spaghetti code. It must have been written by a hacker".
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Hacker someone who breaks into computers to read private e-mails and other
They haven't had any hacker break-ins-of course, they had never had any before,
Hacker have collaborated once again to share what has helped us work through
  and enjoy the time in between traditional semesters.
Yes a hacker cannot directly tamper the electrical feed going into your house.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature