Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hack”

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 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 very 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 in the countryside
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?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Cutting and stabbing, but you might be interested in these topics from the Cutting and joining topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hack” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

maiden

a girl or young woman

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More