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white hat

[hwahyt hat, wahyt] /ˈʰwaɪt ˈhæt, ˈwaɪt/
noun, Informal.
a virtuous hero, especially in a cowboy movie; good guy.
Digital Technology. a hacker who violates the security of a system with the knowledge and consent of the owner or developer in order to test the code, without malicious intent.
Compare black hat.
Related forms
white-hat, white-hatted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for white hat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was something familiar about the white hat, and as she neared them they recognized The Lily.

    The Plunderer Roy Norton
  • She was a vision of dainty purity in her white gown, white hat, and gloves.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • The groom recognized Pierre in the darkness by his white hat.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Well, the answer to the old riddle, “Why does a miller wear a white hat?”

    A Young Hero G Manville Fenn
  • Ursula had a new white dress of soft crepe, and a white hat.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • My white hat with the blush-roses will look sweet with this frock.

  • When I get on the white coat suit and the white hat, I feel like a dream.

    Lady of the Decoration Frances Little
  • This white hat, even in Carlyle's day, used to attract attention.

  • One day I entered a shop on the Boulevards to buy a white hat.

British Dictionary definitions for white hat

white hat

  1. a computer hacker who is hired by an organization to undertake nonmalicious hacking work in order to discover computer-security flaws
  2. (as modifier): a white-hat hacker Compare black hat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for white hat

a computer programmer hired to prevent illegal acts such as hacking a forbidden network or sending out a virus or worm; also, a computer expert, usually a former hacker, who now uses his or her skills for legitimate causes; also called white hat hacker

Word Origin

fr its use in western /cowboy movies

Usage Note

computing's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Slang definitions & phrases for white hat

white hat


: I told them they were the white-hatguys

noun phrase

A law-abiding, morally upright, and heroic person, as distinct from the villainous black hat

[1970s+; fr the conventional dress of heroes in cowboy movies]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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