Definition of white hat in English:

Share this entry

white hat


1Used in reference to a good or moral person, especially the hero in a movie, novel, or play: [as modifier]: the two central characters are a cop and a gangster, but don’t expect a simple black-hat/white-hat duality
More example sentences
  • This isn't an airport novel with white hats and black hats, moral certitude and a nice conclusive ending.
  • The San Francisco clothing company is widely admired as a ‘white hat’ among multinationals.
  • Characterization is accepted, not elaborated upon and the result is a film filled only with archetypes, black hats, and white hats.
1.1 Computing , informal A person who hacks into a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security systems: while security dudes tend to speak in terms of black or white hats, it seems to me that nearly all hats are in varying shades of grey
More example sentences
  • If they do this with full knowledge and authorization of the affected company, they are white hats; if they criminally exploit the vulnerabilities, they are black hats.
  • Businesses with trade secret sensitivities might want to consider less formal protection strategies such as white hat hackers.
  • But while it's easy for hackers to detect, it's also easy to fix - and there are more white hats than black.


1950s: from the color of the hat traditionally worn by the good character in westerns. Compare with black hat.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.