[ hak ]
See synonyms for: hackhackedhackerhackest on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to cut, notch, slice, chop, or sever (something) with or as with heavy, irregular blows (often followed by up or down): to hack meat; to hack down trees.

  2. to break up the surface of (the ground).

  1. to clear (a road, path, etc.) by cutting away vines, trees, brush, or the like: They hacked a trail through the jungle.

  2. to damage or injure by crude, harsh, or insensitive treatment; mutilate; mangle: The editor hacked the story to bits.

  3. to reduce or cut ruthlessly; trim: The Senate hacked the budget severely before returning it to the House.

  4. Slang. to deal or cope with; handle: He can't hack all this commuting.

  5. Computers.

    • to modify (a computer program or electronic device) or write (a program) in a skillful or clever way: Developers have hacked the app.I hacked my tablet to do some very cool things.

    • to circumvent security and break into (a network, computer, file, etc.), often with malicious intent: Criminals hacked the bank's servers yesterday.Our cybersecurity team systematically hacks our network to find vulnerabilities.

  6. Informal. to make use of a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing (something): to hack a classic recipe;to hack your weekend with healthy habits.

  7. Basketball. to strike the arm of (an opposing ball handler): He got a penalty for hacking the shooter.

  8. British. to kick or kick at the shins of (an opposing player) in Rugby football.

  9. South Midland and Southern U.S. to embarrass, annoy, or disconcert.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make rough cuts or notches; deal cutting blows.

  2. to cough harshly, usually in short and repeated spasms.

  1. Computers.

    • to modify a computer program or electronic device in a skillful or clever way: to hack around with HTML;It's pretty easy to hack with scripts.

    • to break into a network, computer, file, etc., often with malicious intent: Students tried to hack into their school server to change their grades.

  2. Tennis.

    • to take a poor, ineffective, or awkward swing at the ball.

    • to play tennis at a mediocre level.

  3. British. to kick or kick at an opponent's shins in Rugby football.

  1. a cut, gash, or notch.

  2. a tool, as an ax, hoe, or pick, for hacking.

  1. an act or instance of hacking; a cutting blow.

  2. a short, rasping dry cough.

  3. a hesitation in speech.

  4. Computers.

    • a piece of code that modifies a computer program in a skillful or clever way: software hacks.

    • an act or instance of breaking into a network, computer, file, etc., often with malicious intent (often used attributively): a hack on our system;a recent hack attack.

  5. Informal. a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing something: hacks for holiday entertaining;parenting hacks.

  6. Curling. an indentation made in the ice at the foot score, for supporting the foot in delivering the stone.

  7. British. a gash in the skin produced by a kick, as in Rugby football.

Verb Phrases
  1. hack around, Slang. to pass the time idly; indulge in idle talk.

Idioms about hack

  1. hack it, Slang. to handle or cope with a situation or an assignment adequately and calmly: The new recruit just can't hack it.

Origin of hack

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English hacken; compare Old English ahaccian “to hack out,” tōhaccian “to hack to pieces”; cognate with Dutch hakken, German hacken

synonym study For hack

1. See cut.

Other words for hack

Other definitions for hack (2 of 3)

[ hak ]

  1. a person, such as an artist or writer, who exploits their creative ability or training in the production of dull, unimaginative, and trite work; one who produces banal and mediocre work for money in the hope of gaining commercial success in the arts: As a painter, he was little more than a hack.

  2. a professional who renounces or surrenders individual independence, integrity, belief, etc., in return for money or other reward in the performance of a task normally thought of as involving a strong personal commitment: The senator was widely considered a mere political hack.

  1. a writer who works on the staff of a publisher at a dull or routine task; someone who works as a literary drudge: He was one among the many hacks on Grub Street.

  2. British.

    • a horse kept for common hire or adapted for general work, especially ordinary riding.

    • a saddle horse used for transportation, rather than for show, hunting, or the like.

  3. an old or worn-out horse; jade.

  4. a coach or carriage kept for hire; hackney.

  5. Informal.

    • a taxi.

    • Also hackie . a cabdriver.

  6. Slang. a prison guard.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make a hack of; let out for hire.

  2. to make trite or stale by frequent use; hackney.

verb (used without object)
  1. Informal. to drive a taxi.

  2. to ride or drive on the road at an ordinary pace, as distinguished from cross-country riding or racing.

  1. British. to rent a horse, especially by the hour.

  1. hired as a hack; of a hired sort: a hack writer; hack work.

  2. hackneyed; trite; banal: hack writing.

Origin of hack

First recorded in 1680–90; short for hackney

Other words for hack

Other definitions for hack (3 of 3)

[ hak ]

  1. a rack for drying food, as fish.

  2. a rack for holding fodder for livestock.

  1. a low pile of unburnt bricks in the course of drying.

verb (used with object)
  1. to place (something) on a hack, as for drying or feeding.

  2. Falconry. to train (a young hawk) by letting it fly freely and feeding it at a hack board or a hack house.

Origin of hack

First recorded in 1565–75; variant of hatch2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hack in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hack (1 of 3)


/ (hæk) /

  1. (when intr, usually foll by at or away) to cut or chop (at) irregularly, roughly, or violently

  2. to cut and clear (a way, path, etc), as through undergrowth

  1. (in sport, esp rugby) to foul (an opposing player) by kicking or striking his shins

  2. basketball to commit the foul of striking (an opposing player) on the arm

  3. (intr) to cough in short dry spasmodic bursts

  4. (tr) to reduce or cut (a story, article, etc) in a damaging way

  5. to manipulate a computer program skilfully, esp, to gain unauthorized access to another computer system

  6. (tr) slang to tolerate; cope with: I joined the army but I couldn't hack it

  7. hack to bits to damage severely: his reputation was hacked to bits

  1. a cut, chop, notch, or gash, esp as made by a knife or axe

  2. any tool used for shallow digging, such as a mattock or pick

  1. a chopping blow

  2. a dry spasmodic cough

  3. a kick on the shins, as in rugby

  4. a wound from a sharp kick

Origin of hack

Old English haccian; related to Old Frisian hackia, Middle High German hacken

British Dictionary definitions for hack (2 of 3)


/ (hæk) /

  1. a horse kept for riding or (more rarely) for driving

  2. an old, ill-bred, or overworked horse

  1. a horse kept for hire

  2. British a country ride on horseback

  3. a drudge

  4. a person who produces mediocre literary or journalistic work

  5. Also called: hackney US a coach or carriage that is for hire

  6. Also called: hackie US informal

    • a cab driver

    • a taxi

  1. British to ride (a horse) cross-country for pleasure

  2. (tr) to let (a horse) out for hire

  1. (tr) informal to write (an article) as or in the manner of a hack

  2. (intr) US informal to drive a taxi

  1. (prenominal) banal, mediocre, or unoriginal: hack writing

Origin of hack

C17: short for hackney

British Dictionary definitions for hack (3 of 3)


/ (hæk) /

  1. a rack used for fodder for livestock

  2. a board on which meat is placed for a hawk

  1. a pile or row of unfired bricks stacked to dry

  1. to place (fodder) in a hack

  2. to place (bricks) in a hack

Origin of hack

C16: variant of hatch ²

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