Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hack”

See all translations

hack

verb uk   /hæk/ us  

hack verb (CUT)

[I or T, + adv/prep] to cut into pieces in a rough and violent way, often without aiming exactly: Three villagers were hacked to death in a savage attack. The butcher hacked off a large chunk of meat. UK figurative The article had been hacked about (= carelessly changed) so much that it was scarcely recognizable. [T usually + adv/prep] UK in football and rugby, to kick the ball away or to foul (= act against the rules) by kicking another player in the leg: He was twice hacked down in the second half by the other team's sweeper.

hack verb (INFORMATION)

[I or T] to get into someone else's computer system without permission in order to find out information or do something illegal: Computer hacking has become widespread over the last decade. A programmer had managed to hack into some top-secret government data. He claimed they had spied on him and tried to hack his computer. [I or T] to use someone else's phone system without permission, especially to listen to their spoken messages: Police told the actor that his phone had been hacked.

hack verb (MANAGE)

[T usually in negatives] informal to manage to deal successfully with something: I tried working on the night shift for a while, but I just couldn't hack it.

hack verb (HORSE)

[I usually + adv/prep] ( also go hacking) to ride a horse for pleasure
Phrasal verbs

hack

noun [C] uk   /hæk/ us  

hack noun [C] (WRITER)

disapproving a journalist (= writer for newspapers or magazines) whose work is low in quality or does not have much imagination: Fleet Street hacks

hack noun [C] (POLITICIAN)

disapproving a politician, especially one who is not important: tired old party hacks

hack noun [C] (HORSE)

a ride on a horse in the countryside

hack noun [C] (DRIVER/CAR)

US informal (the driver of) a car that is available for rent, especially a taxi
(Definition of hack from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of hack?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hack” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More