at hack

hack

3 [hak]
noun
1.
a rack for drying food, as fish.
2.
a rack for holding fodder for livestock.
3.
a low pile of unburnt bricks in the course of drying.
verb (used with object)
4.
to place (something) on a hack, as for drying or feeding.
5.
Falconry. to train (a young hawk) by letting it fly freely and feeding it at a hack board or a hack house.
Idioms
6.
at hack, Falconry. (of a young hawk) being trained to fly freely but to return to a hack house or hack board for food rather than to pursue quarry.

Origin:
1565–75; variant of hatch2

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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
 
n
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)
 
n
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
 
vb
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
 
adj
13.  (prenominal) banal, mediocre, or unoriginal: hack writing
 
[C17: short for hackney]

hack3 (hæk)
 
n
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
 
vb
4.  to place (fodder) in a hack
5.  to place (bricks) in a hack
 
[C16: variant of hatch²]

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

hack
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.

hack
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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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