hack

hack

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of hack in English

English Online Dictionary. What means hack‎? What does hack mean?

English

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /hæk/
  • Rhymes: -æk

Etymology 1

From Middle English hacken, hakken, from Old English *haccian ("to hack"; attested in tōhaccian (to hack to pieces)), from Proto-Germanic *hakkōną (to chop; hoe; hew), from Proto-Indo-European *keg-, *keng- (to be sharp; peg; hook; handle).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian häkje (to hack), West Frisian hakje (to hack), Dutch hakken (to chop up; hack), German hacken (to chop; hack; hoe), Danish hakke (to chop), Swedish hacka (to hack; chop), French hacher (to chop).

The computer senses date back to at least 1955 when it initially referred to creative problem solving. By 1963, the negative connotations of “black hat” or malicious hacking had become associated with telephone hacking (cf. phreaking).

Verb

hack (third-person singular simple present hacks, present participle hacking, simple past and past participle hacked)

  1. (transitive) To chop or cut down in a rough manner. [circa 12th c.]
    They hacked the brush down and made their way through the jungle.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 6
      Among other things he found a sharp hunting knife, on the keen blade of which he immediately proceeded to cut his finger. Undaunted he continued his experiments, finding that he could hack and hew splinters of wood from the table and chairs with this new toy.
  2. (intransitive) To cough noisily. [19th c.]
    This cold is awful. I can't stop hacking.
  3. To withstand or put up with a difficult situation. [20th c.]
    Can you hack it out here with no electricity or running water?
  4. (computing) To make a quick code change to patch a computer program, often one that, while being effective, is inelegant or makes the program harder to maintain.
    I hacked in a fix for this bug, but we'll still have to do a real fix later.
  5. (computing) To accomplish a difficult programming task.
    He can hack like no one else and make the program work as expected.
  6. (computing, slang, transitive) To work with something on an intimately technical level.
    I'm currently hacking distributed garbage collection.
  7. (transitive, colloquial, by extension) To apply a trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to something to increase productivity, efficiency or ease.
    I read up on dating tips so I can hack my sex life.
  8. (transitive, slang, computing) To hack into; to gain unauthorized access to (a computer system, e.g., a website, or network) by manipulating code; to crack.
  9. (transitive, slang, computing) By extension, to gain unauthorised access to a computer or online account belonging to (a person or organisation).
    When I logged into the social network, I discovered I'd been hacked.
  10. (ice hockey) To strike an opponent's leg with one's hockey stick.
    He's going to the penalty box after hacking the defender in front of the goal.
  11. (ice hockey) To make a flailing attempt to hit the puck with a hockey stick.
    There's a scramble in front of the net as the forwards are hacking at the bouncing puck.
  12. (baseball) To swing at a pitched ball.
    He went to the batter's box hacking.
  13. (soccer and rugby) To kick (a player) on the shins.
  14. To strike in a frantic movement.
  15. (transitive) To strike lightly as part of tapotement massage.
Synonyms
  • (gain unauthorized access): crack
  • frob
  • tweak
Derived terms
Translations

Noun

hack (plural hacks)

  1. A tool for chopping. [14th c.]
  2. A hacking blow. [19th c.]
  3. A gouge or notch made by such a blow.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  4. A dry cough.
  5. A hacking; a catch in speaking; a short, broken cough.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dr. H. More to this entry?)
  6. (figuratively) A try, an attempt. [19th c.]
  7. (curling) The foothold traditionally cut into the ice from which the person who throws the rock pushes off for delivery.
  8. (obsolete) A mattock or a miner's pickaxe.
  9. (computing) An expedient, temporary solution, such as a small patch or change to code, meant to be replaced with a more elegant solution at a later date.
  10. (computing) An interesting technical achievement, particularly in computer programming.
  11. (colloquial) A trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity, efficiency or ease.
    Putting your phone in a sandwich bag when you go to the beach is such a great hack.
  12. (computing, slang) An illegal attempt to gain access to a computer network.
  13. (computing, slang) A video game or any computer software that has been altered from its original state.
  14. (slang, military) Time check.
  15. (baseball) A swing of the bat at a pitched ball by the batter.
    He took a few hacks, but the pitcher finally struck him out.
  16. A kick on the shins in football.
    • 1857, Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's School Days.
  17. (slang, naval) confinement of an officer to their stateroom as a punishment
    • 2013, David Cauthen, When Destiny Comes to a Fork in the Road, p. 426:
      “Lieutenant Cauthen, you've got ten seconds to explain yourself before I put you in hack!”
Quotations
  • For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:hack.
Synonyms
  • (access attempt): crack
  • (expedient, temporary solution): band-aid, contrivance, improvision, improvisation, kludge, makeshift, quick fix, patch
  • (trick to increase productivity or efficiency): lifehack
Related terms
  • marginal hacks
Translations

Etymology 2

Variations of hatch, heck.

Noun

hack (plural hacks)

  1. (falconry) A board which the falcon's food is placed on; used by extension for the state of partial freedom in which they are kept before being trained.
  2. A food-rack for cattle.
  3. A rack used to dry something, such as bricks, fish, or cheese.
  4. A grating in a mill race.

Verb

hack (third-person singular simple present hacks, present participle hacking, simple past and past participle hacked)

  1. To lay (bricks) on a rack to dry.
  2. (falconry) To keep (young hawks) in a state of partial freedom, before they are trained.

Etymology 3

Abbreviation of hackney (an ordinary horse), probably from place name Hackney

Noun

hack (plural hacks)

  1. A horse for hire, especially one which is old and tired. [from 16th c.]
  2. A person, often a journalist, hired to do routine work. [from 17th c.]
  3. (derogatory) Someone who is available for hire; hireling, mercenary.
  4. (slang) A taxicab (hackney cab) driver.
  5. (now chiefly Canada, US, colloquial) A vehicle let for hire; originally, a hackney coach, now typically a taxicab. [from 17th c.]
    • Alexander Pope
      On horse, on foot, in hacks and gilded chariots.
  6. A hearse.
    • 1920's arr: Jimmie Rodgers Frankie and Johnny
      Bring out the rubber-tired buggie/Bring out the rubber-tired hack/I'm takin' my Johnny to the graveyard/But I ain't gonna bring him back
  7. (derogatory, authorship) An untalented writer.
  8. (derogatory) One who is professionally successful despite producing mediocre work. (Usually applied to persons in a creative field.)
  9. (derogatory) A talented writer-for-hire, paid to put others' thoughts into felicitous language.
  10. (politics) A political agitator. (slightly derogatory)
  11. (obsolete) A writer who hires himself out for any sort of literary work; an overworked man; a drudge.
    • Goldsmith
      Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, / Who long was a bookseller's hack.
  12. (obsolete) A procuress.
Synonyms
  • (A saddle horse which is old and tired): nag
Coordinate terms
  • (worthless horse): bum
Translations

Verb

hack (third-person singular simple present hacks, present participle hacking, simple past and past participle hacked)

  1. (dated) To make common or cliched; to vulgarise.
  2. To ride a horse at a regular pace; to ride on a road (as opposed to riding cross-country etc.).
  3. (obsolete) To be exposed or offered or to common use for hire; to turn prostitute.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hanmer to this entry?)
  4. (obsolete) To live the life of a drudge or hack.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Goldsmith to this entry?)
  5. To use as a hack; to let out for hire.
  6. To use frequently and indiscriminately, so as to render trite and commonplace.
    • J. H. Newman
      The word "remarkable" has been so hacked of late.

Etymology 4

From hackysack

Noun

hack (plural hacks)

  1. A small ball usually made of woven cotton or suede and filled with rice, sand or some other filler, for use in hackeysack.
Translations

Verb

hack (third-person singular simple present hacks, present participle hacking, simple past and past participle hacked)

  1. To play hackeysack.
Translations

References

  • hack at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • hack in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.