There are 3 definitions of hack in English:

hack1

Line breaks: hack

verb

1 [with object] Cut with rough or heavy blows: I watched them hack the branches [no object]: men hack at the coalface
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
1.1Kick wildly or roughly: he had to race from his line to hack the ball into the stand
More example sentences
  • The way they're both playing tonight there's only ever going to be one winner of that contest, and the Liverpool centre-half hacks the ball clear.
  • In this physical game, the Africans hacked Diego Maradona all day.
  • Boston almost scored when a Jason Lee header from Danny Thomas' cross was hacked off the line by Baraclough.
2 [no object] Gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer: they hacked into the bank’s computer [with object]: someone hacked his computer from another location (as noun hacking) outlawing hacking has not stopped it
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.
2.1Program quickly and roughly.
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately I started by vaguely hacking around with Perl and have developed some appalling habits which Perl quite happily lets me get away with.
  • Mikey the Programmer is hacking away on the new FTP client feature of his groovy Macintosh software.
  • Now, if only I remembered something about programming so I could hack together a Windows version…
3 [no object] Cough persistently: I was waking up in the middle of the night and coughing and hacking for hours
More example sentences
  • Bronchitis and croup (infection of the airways) always involve a hacking, barking cough.
4 [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, get along, get by, carry on, muddle through, muddle along, come through, stand on one's own two feet, weather the storm; stand it, tolerate it, bear it, endure it, put up with it; Scottishthole it
informal make out, handle it, abide it, stick it
British informal rub along, be doing with it

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 sport) a kick or a stroke with a stick inflicted on another player.
More 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 notch cut in the ice, or a peg inserted, to steady the foot when delivering a stone in curling.
More example sentences
  • This gripper is used for pushing out of the hack (the foothold) and, more importantly, for propelling you down the ice when you're sweeping or just trying to get to the other end.
1.3A tool for rough striking or cutting, e.g. a mattock or a miner’s pick.
1.4 archaic A gash or wound.
2 informal An act of computer hacking: the challenge of the hack itself
More 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', of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch hakken and German hacken.

Phrasal verbs

hack around

North American informal Pass one’s time idly or with no definite purpose: she hacked around with neighbourhood buddies
More 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

informal Annoy or infuriate someone: it really hacks me off when they whine about what a poor job we’re doing
More 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.

Definition of hack in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day epyllion
Pronunciation: əˈpilēən
noun
a narrative poem resembling an epic in style...

There are 3 definitions of hack in English:

hack2

Line breaks: hack

noun

1A writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work: Sunday newspaper hacks earn their livings on such gullibilities
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
journalist, reporter, correspondent, newspaperman, newspaperwoman, newsman, newswoman, writer, feature writer, contributor, columnist, Grub Street writer; Britishpressman; North Americanlegman, wireman; Australianroundsman
North American informal newsy
archaic penny-a-liner
1.1A person who does dull routine work.
More 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, toiler, plodder, doormat, hewer of wood and drawer of water; servant, lackey, labourer, slave, galley slaveNorth Americanpeon, gofer
archaic scullion, servitor
2A horse for ordinary riding.
More 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.
More 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.
More 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.
2.3A horse let out for hire.
2.4An inferior or worn-out horse.
More 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.
3North American A taxi.
More example sentences
  • You're going to have to take me or I'll turn you in and you'll lose your hack license.
Synonyms
taxi, cab, taxi cab, minicab, hackney cab
British formal hackney carriage
historical fiacre

verb

[no object] (usually as noun hacking) Back to top  
Ride a horse for pleasure or exercise: some gentle hacking in a scenic setting
More 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 ( in (sense 2) of the noun)): abbreviation of hackney. (sense 1) of the noun) dates from the late 17th century.

Derivatives

hackery

noun
More 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?

Definition of hack in:

There are 3 definitions of hack in English:

hack3

Line breaks: hack

noun

1 Falconry A board on which a hawk’s meat is laid.
More 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.
2A wooden frame for drying bricks, cheeses, etc.
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

(Of a young hawk) given partial liberty but not yet allowed to hunt for itself.
More 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.

Definition of hack in: