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hack +‎ -er


hacker ‎(plural hackers)

  1. (computing) One who is expert at programming and solving problems with a computer.
    • 1990s, Joe Chidley, Maclean's Magazine:
      Hackers are people who simply love playing with computers
  2. (computing) One who uses a computer to gain unauthorized access to data, or to carry out malicious attacks.
    • 2007, Committee on Improving Cybersecurity Research in the United States, ‎Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace
      Typically, one hacker will annoy another; the offended party replies by launching a denial-of-service attack against the offender.
  3. Something that hacks; a tool or device for hacking.
    • 1825?, "Hannah Limbrick, Executed for Murder", in The Newgate Calendar: comprising interesting memoirs of the most notorious characters, page 231:
      Thomas Limbrick, who was only nine years of age, said he lived with his mother when Deborah was beat: that his mother throwed her down all along with her hands; and then against a wall, and kicked her in the belly: that afterwards she picked her up, and beat her with the hacker on the side of the head; wiped the blood off with a dish-clout, and took her up to bed after she was dead.
    • July 1846, John Macleod, "The Tar and Turpentine Business of North Carolina", on page 15 of the Monthly Journal of Agriculture, volume II, number 1:
      When the dipping is thus over, the next work is to "chip" or scarify the tree immediately over the box [...]. This is done by an instrument usually called a "hacker," sometimes "shave." Its form is somewhat like a "round shave," narrowing at the cutting place to the diameter of an inch, with a shank, to be fixed securely into a strong, heavy handle of about two feet in length, while the faces of the trees are low, but the handle is made longer as years advance the faces higher.
    • 1877, Reports and Awards of the United States Centennial Commission (regarding the) International Exhibition, 1876 (Francis A. Walker, editor), Reports on Awards, Group XXI, page 13:
      23. George C. howard, Philadelphia, U.S.
      Report.--Commended for the contrivance of an instrument, called a "hacker," that is used in trimming grindstones. This hacker turns with the stone, and is drawn across in a slide rest, and fulfills its important function satisfactorily.
  4. Someone who hacks.
    • 1902, Our Wonderful Progress, Trumbull White (editor), page 623–624:
      In January or February the "hacker," with his keen-bladed ax, begins the round which ends the season. [...] About a quart of sap is taken from each box by means of the trowel-shaped scoop used by the dipper, and then the hacker comes along and starts the flow afresh by wounding the tree again.
    1. Particularly, one who cuts with rough or heavy blows.
    2. Particularly, one who kicks wildly or roughly.
    3. Particularly, one who is consistent and focuses on accomplishing a task or several tasks.
  5. (computing) a computer security professional
  6. (US) One who is inexperienced or unskilled at a particular activity, especially a sport such as golf or tennis.
  7. (US) One who operates a taxicab
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, Trouble is my business:
      Start runnin' for a streetcar and they open up with machine guns and bump two pedestrians, a hacker asleep in his cab, and an old scrubwoman on the second floor workin' a mop. And they miss the guy they're after.
    • 1965 January 24, “Bird Costs Cabbie $10”, in Hartford Courant:
      Washington Hacker Charles A. Culp and his pet macaw parrot, Capt. Bligh, ran afoul of the law when a policeman charged Culp with....
    • 1972, Richard Lockridge, Write murder down:
      "That's Brooklyn," the hacker said, his tone accusing. "I don't go to Brooklyn, mister. Anyways, I'm due at the garage." Nathan Shapiro is usually gentle with cab drivers. He was not, this hot afternoon of a fruitless day


  • (one who uses a computer to carry out malicious attacks): cracker (outside US)


Usage notesEdit

  • There are significantly more meanings of the word within the United States[1] than in other English speaking nations.
  • The use of the word hacker to indicate a person who displays skill, particularly with computers, may be misunderstood [2] as implying the narrow meaning of unauthorised intrusion into electronic systems (also known as a cracker or occasionally black hat). This serious misunderstanding in the field of computer expertise is perhaps particularly common outside the United States.
  • Some computer enthusiasts object to the use of hacker for a person who breaks into computer systems, preferring cracker for this sense.


  1. ^ hacker - Merriam Webster Online (American English)
  2. ^ hack; hacker - Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press (British English)

See alsoEdit



hacker m ‎(plural hackers)

  1. (computing) hacker




  1. (computing) To hack




hacker m f (plural hackers)

  1. (computing) hacker (one who is expert at programming and solving problems with a computer)
  2. (computing) hacker (one who uses a computer to gain unauthorised access to data)



hacker m, f ‎(plural hackers)

  1. Alternative form of hácker
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