See also: häck and Hack

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /hæk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æk

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English hacken, hakken, from Old English haccian (to hack), 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).[1]

VerbEdit

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?
    • 2020 June 5, Alyson Krueger, “The Agonizing Question: Is New York City Worth It Anymore?”, in New York Times[2]:
      New Yorkers have been fleeing for months. But the fear some residents have of the violent reactions to the protests here is adding a new challenge to those asking themselves whether they can hack the city. Many are deciding not to return.
  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.
    Synonyms: frob, tweak
    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.
    Synonym: 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 with one's hockey stick, typically on the leg but occasionally and more seriously on the back, arm, head, etc.
    He's going to the penalty box after hacking the defender in front of the goal.
    Jensen gets a 5 minute major penalty for hacking Orsov in the back.
  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.
    • 2019, Barney Ronay, Liverpool’s waves of red fury and recklessness end in joyous bedlam (in The Guardian, 8 May 2019)[3]
      Barcelona had been harried and hurried and stretched thin by the midway point in the second half. Tackles flew in. Toes were crushed, shins barked, ankles hacked.
  14. To strike in a frantic movement.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC[4]:
      Centre-back Branislav Ivanovic then took a wild slash at the ball but his captain John Terry saved Chelsea's skin by hacking the ball clear for a corner with Kevin Davies set to strike from just six yards out.
  15. (transitive) To strike lightly as part of tapotement massage.
    • 1915, Louisa L. Despard, Handbook of Massage for Beginners, page 14:
      [] laterally from and then towards the spine, and continued downwards from the shoulders until the whole back has been hacked.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

hack (countable and uncountable, 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.
  4. A dry cough.
  5. A hacking; a catch in speaking; a short, broken cough.
    • 1660, Henry More, An Explanation of the Grand Mystery of Godliness
      he speaks to this very question: which he does with so many hacks and hesitations
  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. (informal) An improvised device or solution to a problem.
    Luckily for us J company picked us up in their hack — two snowmobiles with a big inflatable raft strapped between them.
  10. (computing, slang) 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; a workaround.
    Valleysoft released a hack yesterday to fix the "crashes when more than 50 recipients" bug for people who need it right away. The company says its next release will also solve this as well as add new features.
  11. (computing, slang) A computer programmer who makes quick but inelegant changes to computer code to solve problems or add features.
    Tsang is great but Zhou is such a hack — I wouldn't want him on my project.
  12. (computing, slang) A computer programmer, particularly a veteran or someone not immediately expected to be capable of programming.
    Terry wrote that module? I didn't know she was a hack too!
  13. (computing, slang) An interesting technical achievement, particularly in computer programming.
    Flugensoft came out with a neat hack last week that allows your watch to warm up your car if it's below freezing outside.
  14. (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.
  15. (computing, slang) An illegal attempt to gain access to a computer network.
  16. (computing, slang) A video game or any computer software that has been altered from its original state.
    • 2014, Clara Fernández-Vara, Introduction to Game Analysis (page 165)
      [] found out a discarded sex mini-game in the code, and made it available again in the modified PC version of the game that they nicknamed “Hot Coffee.” This hack of the game created a controversy, since the inclusion of sexual content would change its age rating, []
  17. (slang, military) Time check.
  18. (ice hockey) The act of striking an opponent with one's hockey stick, typically on the leg but occasionally and more seriously on the back, arm, head, etc.
    Zersky is still down after that nasty hack by Lenner.
  19. (baseball) A swing of the bat at a pitched ball by the batter, particularly a choppy, ungraceful one that misses the ball such as at a fastball.
    And Melnick goes down with one last hack at an O'Malley fastball.
  20. A kick on the shins in football of any type.
    Wales are awarded a free kick after a minor hack by Järvinen on Llewellyn.
    • 1857, Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's School Days.
      “Ain't there just fine scrummages then! and the three trees you see there which come out into the play, that's a tremendous place when the ball hangs there, for you get thrown against the trees, and that's worse than any hack.”
  21. (uncountable, slang, naval) Confinement of an officer to their stateroom as a punishment.
    • 1986, Jim Cash; Jack Epps Jr., Top Gun, spoken by Stinger (James Tolkan):
      You've been busted, you lost your qualifications as section leader three times, put in hack twice by me, with a history of high speed passes over five air control towers, and one admiral's daughter!
    • 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!”
  22. (military, slang) An airplane of poor quality or in poor condition.
    • 1952, Air Reservist (page 6)
      Henebry's planes returned to Japan to reload, and early in the morning brought almost 3,000 more troopers to Korea [] Before sunrise next day, all troops in the maneuver had been picked up again and airlifted in “Henebry Hacks” back to Japan.
    • 1967, Christian Advocate (volume 47, page 292)
      [] so that he had to make the 300-mile journey in a “hack” plane which had spluttering engines, which did not conduce to an easy mind nor to a comfortable journey; []
QuotationsEdit
SynonymsEdit
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Variations of hatch, heck.

NounEdit

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.

VerbEdit

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 3Edit

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

NounEdit

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.]
    I got by on hack work for years before I finally published my novel.
  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.]
    • 1728, [Alexander Pope], “(please specify |book=1 to 3)”, in The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. [], Dublin; London: [] A. Dodd, OCLC 1033416756:
      On horse, on foot, in hacks and gilded chariots.
    • 1993, TC Boyle, The Road to Wellville, Penguin, published 1994, page 227:
      The interurban wasn't running because of the holiday, and the hacks, if there were any, would have been clustered round the Post Tavern at the other end of town.
  6. A hearse.
    • 1920s, 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.
    Dason is nothing but a two-bit hack.
    He's nothing but the typical hack 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.
    • 1767, Oliver Goldsmith, Epitaph on Edward Purdon
      Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, / Who long was a bookseller's hack.
  12. (obsolete) A procuress.
SynonymsEdit
  • (A saddle horse which is old and tired): nag
Coordinate termsEdit
  • (worthless horse): bum
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

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. (equestrianism) 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.
    • 1765, Oliver Goldsmith, The Double Transformation
      Poor madam , now condemn'd to hack
      The rest of life with anxious Jack
  5. To use as a hack; to let out for hire.
  6. To use frequently and indiscriminately, so as to render trite and commonplace.
    • 1865, John Henry Newman, An Internal Argument for Christianity
      The word "remarkable" has been so hacked of late.
  7. To drive a hackney cab.
    • 2004, Joseph Trigoboff, The Shooting Gallery (page 238)
      When I was hacking in Brooklyn, I used to run him over to the Court Street restaurants, where he'd sit in Nick and Tony's Pizzeria []

Etymology 4Edit

From hackysack

NounEdit

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.
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

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

  1. To play hackeysack.
TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Yagoda, Ben (March 6, 2014), “A Short History of “Hack””, in New Yorker[1]

DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English hack.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

hack m (plural hacks, diminutive hackje n)

  1. hack (exploit; illegitimate attempt to gain access)

Related termsEdit