Definition of “hack” - English Dictionary

“hack” in British English

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hackverb

uk /hæk/ us /hæk/

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.

Phrasal verb(s)

hacknoun [ C ]

uk /hæk/ us /hæk/

hack noun [ C ] (HELP)

a good solution or piece of advice:

Here are 50 life hacks that will change your life for the better.

(Definition of “hack” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“hack” in American English

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hackverb

us /hæk/

hack verb (CUT)

[ I/T ] to cut something or someone with rough or uneven movements:

[ T ] We hacked a path through the underbrush.
[ I ] He hacked away at the logs, splitting enough wood for a fire.

hack verb (COMPUTING)

[ I ] to access someone else’s computer system without permission in order to obtain or change information:

Someone managed to hack into the company database.

Idiom(s)

hacknoun [ C ]

us /hæk/

hack noun [ C ] (PERSON)

a person who willingly works or acts mostly for money or other rewards without worrying about independence, beliefs, or reputation:

A hack is also a writer who produces a lot of work for money without caring very much about its quality.

(Definition of “hack” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“hack” in Business English

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hackverb [ I or T ]

uk /hæk/ us

IT to use a computer to illegally access information stored on another computer system or to spread a computer virus:

hack into sth Two employees were charged with hacking into the company's computer system and changing data.
Studies have revealed that it's fairly easy to hack an electronic voting system.

Phrasal verb(s)

hacknoun [ C ]

uk /hæk/ us

disapproving a writer, especially a journalist, who produces articles, books, etc. that are of low quality:

disapproving someone who works mainly for money without worrying about beliefs or the opinions of others:

US informal a person who drives a taxi

IT an illegal use of a computer to access information stored on another computer system or to spread a computer virus :

A hack into an employee's email provided access to a number of confidential documents.

(Definition of “hack” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)