There are 3 main definitions of hack in English:

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hack1

Syllabification: hack

verb

1 [with object] Cut with rough or heavy blows: hack off the dead branches [no object]: a fishmonger hacked at it with a cleaver
More example sentences
  • These arborists climb high in an ancient oak tree and drag along a chain saw to hack off dead branches, which they let crash to the ground.
  • People with knives hacked at the bodies of the dead.
  • He'd shimmy up with a machete, hack them off and let them fall to the ground.
Synonyms
cut, chop, hew, lop, saw;
slash
2 [no object] Use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system: they hacked into a bank’s computer
More example sentences
  • I hope his girlfriend breaks up with him today, his dog runs away and someone hacks into his AOL account and uses it to send threatening emails to the president.
  • And those indulging in hacking but with malicious and criminal intent are crackers.
  • We now have a maximum sentence of 7 years for reckless damage to a computer, 5 years for taking trade secrets, and 2 years for hacking.
2.1 [with object] Gain unauthorized access to (data in a computer): hacking private information from computers
More example sentences
  • ‘Knowledge is not widespread about how to hack databases but information is out there,’ said Kombrust.
  • The most infamous cyber offence in Zambia was committed by a young computer wizard who hacked the State House website.
  • One response has been hacking the star's webpage and inserting copies of her own music for download.
3 [usually with negative] (hack it) informal Manage; cope: lots of people leave because they can’t hack it
More example sentences
  • If they find that she can't hack it over two miles at the top level she'll take her place in the World Hurdle instead, but that's not the dream.
  • The question is, can he still hack it live. Well, can he?
  • I think it may be all some kind of test - throw Matt a project to manage on his second day and see if he can hack it.
Synonyms
cope, manage, get on/by, carry on, come through, muddle along/through;
stand it, tolerate it, bear it, endure it, put up with it
informal handle it, abide it, stick it out

noun

Back to top  
1A rough cut, blow, or stroke: he was sure one of us was going to take a hack at him
More example sentences
  • Jeff has a slightly open stance and takes a wicked hack at pitches he likes.
  • He is impatient, which leads to a lot of bad hacks.
  • He used to take hacks at my tires after school.
1.1(In sports) a kick or hit inflicted on another player.
Example sentences
  • The play was a little chippy, with what looked like Pippen taking some strong hacks at Celtics players.
  • After that, Justin Gregory might also have gone, but was so inexpert in trying to kick Jeffers that he missed with the hack.
  • While he did catch him in the head, the hack in no way merited a suspension.
1.2A cut or gash.
1.3A tool for rough striking or cutting, e.g., a mattock or a miner’s pick.
2 informal An act of computer hacking.
Example sentences
  • Several media accounts described the data breach as a computer hack.
  • Fraud, not a computer hack, is responsible for the latest breach of more than 140,000 personal data records.
  • The problem is, however, that the tools and methods are very much the same for a classic hack as for a computer terrorist act.
2.1A piece of computer code providing a quick or inelegant solution to a particular problem: this hack doesn’t work on machines that have a firewall
More example sentences
  • The economy models make excellent alternatives to keyboard hacks, providing the functionality of a keyboard hack with less effort involved.
  • You have many excellent alternatives to a keyboard hack available to you today.
  • Not all of the techniques will work cross-browser without some CSS hacks, and some of the hacks will cause your code to be invalid.

Origin

Old English haccian 'cut in pieces'; related to Dutch hakken and German hacken.

Phrases

hacking cough

1
A short, dry, frequent cough.
Example sentences
  • However, if you have a persistent or hacking cough, or if your coughing brings up mucus, you could well have an infection in your airways, and your lung capacity may be diminished.
  • Within a week she was smoking two packs a day - leaving her with a chronic, hacking cough.
  • It occurred to me at about 3am, as I lay in bed with a raging fever and hacking cough, that perhaps a visit to a doctor is in order.

Phrasal verbs

hack around

1
North American informal Pass one’s time idly or with no definite purpose.
Example sentences
  • I just hacked around town on my own, running errands.
  • It had to be a directed activity - dozing in the sun would be hacking around, but building a dam in the creek would not be.
  • Because I'm going to make the improvements on this new ship of yours before I decide to start hacking around.

hack someone off

2
informal Annoy or infuriate someone.
Example sentences
  • But really the only winners were the French and they were hacked off with the English weather, especially when they eventually reached Carlisle.
  • I had no business bidding anyway and it's better I lost, but the winner, a woman with money who's cornered the memorabilia market, hacks me off all the same.
  • Okay, I'm a country gal and sometimes stuff hacks me off.

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There are 3 main definitions of hack in English:

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hack2

Syllabification: hack

noun

1A writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work: [as modifier]: a hack scriptwriter
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, literary hacks and Grub Street writers produced popular pot boilers for the masses.
  • Editorial and headline writers and the hacks at the television news outlets have no time for such contradictions.
  • Was the poor gentleman under the impression that I am a councillor or a psychiatrist instead of just a newspaper hack?
Synonyms
informal journo, scribbler
archaic penny-a-liner
1.1A person who does dull routine work.
Example sentences
  • And vote counters should be nonpartisan public servants, not secretive corporations or party hacks.
  • Sadly, the cronies and party hacks who now fill his Cabinet and backroom offices fall some way short of that ideal.
  • This is what you get when you loan your hard-won credibility to hacks and charlatans.
Synonyms
drudge, menial, menial worker, factotum
informal gofer
2A horse for ordinary riding.
Example sentences
  • A Munnings horse on the other hand has a lot of the stable about it - a lot of knowledge, no doubt, and a lot to attract others who know their hacks, hunters and ponies.
  • The stables catered for hacks, hunters, carriage horses and carriages and the Georgian quadrangle was established as the ideal pattern.
  • As to who of the above appeared on the sacred gallops on bicycles, who on hacks and who in motors, we can only surmise.
2.1A good-quality lightweight riding horse, especially one used in the show ring.
Example sentences
  • A type of high-class riding horse, the hack is associated almost exclusively with the show ring.
2.2A ride on a horse.
Example sentences
  • Sunday is also unofficially Kids Day and there will more horse events including junior hacks and riding classes as well as some fun prizes for the prettiest mare and handsomest colt in the gala ring.
  • One favoured method of working off excess energy before a work out or a hack is to lunge the horse for a short period before mounting.
  • Bally seemed content with her new role: grazing the field was interrupted by the odd hack out, and then back to eating.
2.3An inferior or worn-out horse.
Example sentences
  • Having escaped serious injury throughout his racing career, Tommy was lamed for life through a fall from his hack while riding to the post office in the Curragh Camp.
  • A smart trainer at Newmarket will ride out on the Heath on his hack, which may be a sumptuous former racehorse.
2.4A horse rented out for riding.
3North American A taxicab.
Example sentences
  • You're going to have to take me or I'll turn you in and you'll lose your hack license.

verb

[no object] (usually as noun hacking) Back to top  
Ride a horse for pleasure or exercise.
Example sentences
  • Some years ago I was out hacking on my young horse.
  • If you don't need to get fit that quickly, think in terms of lots of walking, hacking and hill work.
  • I ride horses, and enjoy hacking across the countryside.

Origin

Middle English ( (sense 2) of the noun)): abbreviation of hackney. (sense 1) of the noun) dates from the late 17th century.

Derivatives

hackery

1
Pronunciation: /ˈhakərē/
noun
(sense 1) of the noun).
Example sentences
  • There's some political hackery in there too.
  • Actually, in these days of PR hackery, it's great to read something that departs so totally from obligatory positivity and mealy-mouthed politeness.
  • What are you going to believe, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence or sixty seconds of righteously indignant partisan hackery?

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There are 3 main definitions of hack in English:

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hack3

Syllabification: hack

noun

1 Falconry A board on which a hawk’s meat is laid.
Example sentences
  • ‘Take up’ is sometimes used to mean to withdraw a hawk from the mews or from hack with a view to preparing her for hunting.
2.1A pile of bricks stacked up to dry before firing.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting the lower half of a divided door): variant of hatch1.

Phrases

at hack

1
(Of a young hawk) given partial liberty but not yet allowed to hunt for itself.
Example sentences
  • To be at hack is to be in the state of partial liberty in which eyas hawks are kept before being trained, not being allowed to prey for themselves.
  • For a hawk at hack, food is often tied to the hack board to discourage her from forming the habit of carrying.

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