Definition of phreaking in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrēkiNG/


informal, chiefly North American
The action of hacking into telecommunications systems, especially to obtain free calls.
Example sentences
  • Hands-free phones, phreaking - hacking into phone systems for free calls - and fuzzy logic are all new inclusions.
  • This article about three blind brothers in Israel who are crazy good at computers and phone phreaking (like hacking, but with phones) is totally and utterly amazing.
  • This capability, known in the civil community as hacking, phreaking, and other terms for arcane computer skills, also poses cultural problems for the US military.



Pronunciation: /ˈfrēk/
Example sentences
  • Ripping off the system was so convenient that it out-lived the anarchist ideology; increasingly the drive of phone phreaks was the empowering rush of mastering technology.
  • There was significant crossover between the hacker community and the hard-core phone phreaks who ran semi-underground networks of their own through such media as the legendary TAP Newsletter.
  • The story about the phone phreaks is a good one, detailing the lengths that people would go to get free long distance calls, back in the day when these calls were much more expensive than they are now.


Pronunciation: /ˈfrēkər/
Example sentences
  • The telco fraudsters, dubbed phone phreakers, can make money by selling on, at a cheap rate, the knowledge and the phone number.
  • What piqued the interest of phreakers (phone hackers) was discovering that over a long distance connection, the cheap plastic whistle's pitch granted ‘operator mode’ - carte blanche to the telephone system.
  • The GSM Association admits the Israeli researchers are onto something but say the attack requires the use of complex technology, which few phone phreakers have access to, and would need to be targeted at a specific caller.


1970s: alteration of freaking (see freak). The change from f- to ph- was due to association with phone1.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: phreak·ing

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