One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Used in reference to a bad person, especially a villain or criminal in a film, novel, or play.‘we are the good guys—the black hats lost’
- ‘I argued that he's not evil, he's just the bad guy in the black hat, who you see coming a million miles away.’
- ‘If we rely only on the ballot box to hold up our side of the negotiation, then the black hats will go around us and use tools like the courts to up the price of democracy.’
- ‘A cursory glance at the history of the conflict reveals it is not just the guys in the black hats who have found it useful.’
- ‘We already have so many regular deputies that we don't really need a posse to actually get rid of the black hats.’
- ‘"I want to see the white hats win and the black hats dangling from the end of a rope."’
- ‘This isn't an airport novel, with white hats and black hats, moral certitude and a nice conclusive ending.’
- 1.1Computing informal A person who hacks into a computer network with malicious or criminal intent.‘black hats have a history of disassembling source code and looking for lapses’
criminal, lawbreaker, outlaw, offender, felon, convict, jailbird, malefactor, wrongdoer, supervillainView synonyms
- ‘The fact is, of course, that the computing world's black hat brigade don't give a monkey's what platform you're using.’
- ‘If they do this with full knowledge and authorization of the affected company, they are white hats; if they criminally exploit the vulnerabilities, they are black hats.’
- ‘According to security clearing house CERT, an exploit based on the vulnerability is yet to be used by black hats.’
1950s: from the colour of the hat traditionally worn by the bad character in westerns. Compare with white hat.
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