Main definitions of hack in English

: hack1hack2hack3

hack1

verb

  • 1with object Cut with rough or heavy blows.

    ‘I watched them hack the branches’
    no object ‘men hack at the coalface’
    • ‘He lifted it and hacked at the door again, and again, and small chips of wood started to fly off.’
    • ‘I grinned as I hacked at my old jeans, turning them into a pair of shorts.’
    • ‘A school has been forced to admit it made a mistake after allowing geology students to hack at the rock face of a beauty spot on a field trip.’
    • ‘The Romans' idea of a great evening was to watch gladiators hack each other apart, and then top it off with a drunken orgy.’
    • ‘But that would be to hack off the branches of the argument rather than to undermine the roots.’
    • ‘He smashed the back window with a fire extinguisher, while others hacked at the roof.’
    • ‘It is as if the corner of a Rembrandt has been hacked off, so it is extremely important that we don't rush in and make a mess of it.’
    • ‘We all threw blankets over him, and he had to hack off this charred mass with a Swiss Army Knife.’
    • ‘People with knives hacked at the bodies of the dead.’
    • ‘Whirling bodies slashed and hacked at each other; the slaughter was horrendous.’
    • ‘He hacked at a wall of vines, which fell and revealed a gaping, black hole.’
    • ‘She had wavy black hair that looked like it had been hacked at with a knife.’
    • ‘Police in Trowbridge are appealing for witnesses after thugs hacked at a tree in the park on Saturday afternoon.’
    • ‘These arborists climb high in an ancient oak tree and drag along a chain saw to hack off dead branches, which they let crash to the ground.’
    • ‘With a machete, he hacked low branches and vines to clear the boat's path through the flooded forest.’
    • ‘It's very tempting to hack off your black, down-your-back hair for a platinum blonde buzz cut when you're hungry for a funky new look.’
    • ‘The ice was supplied by a local fish factory and re-applied every night to a vertical wall after being hacked at all day by ice axes.’
    • ‘He'd shimmy up with a machete, hack them off and let them fall to the ground.’
    • ‘He ran forward and began to hack at him, each slash more powerful than the last.’
    • ‘He's got really tight curls so I've only ever used the clippers or hacked at it myself but I haven't done this for about eight months now so it was getting quite long.’
    cut, chop, hew, lop, saw
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Kick wildly or roughly.
      ‘he had to race from his line to hack the ball into the stand’
      • ‘Roberto Carlos has taken to hacking the ball miles into the stand in desperation.’
      • ‘Woeful defending from Niclas Alexandersson almost lets Rooney in, but Olof Mellberg hacks the ball over the bar to concede a corner.’
      • ‘In injury time, Maxwell did beat Boswell with a header but Burscough skipper Stephen McNulty hacked the ball off the line for a corner.’
      • ‘With Farfan bearing down on him, Dida rushes to the edge of his area and hacks the ball clear.’
      • ‘The move seemed to have fizzled out when the ball was hacked forward into the in-goal area and, on the intervention of the same touch-judge, a penalty try was awarded for interference.’
      • ‘The way they're both playing tonight there's only ever going to be one winner of that contest, and the Liverpool centre-half hacks the ball clear.’
      • ‘On the fifth he drove it in a creek to the left and almost broke his club hacking it out of there.’
      • ‘The curly-haired midfielder duly hacked his effort well wide of the near post from about seven yards.’
      • ‘His header was hacked off the goal line as Kendal looked to double their lead.’
      • ‘After some slapstick defending from Real, Miguel Salgado eventually hacks the ball into Row Z.’
      • ‘They disrupted an opposition move in midfield, and then hacked the ball on.’
      • ‘He hacked a loose ball from virtually his own line well upfield and as Glasgow put on pressure, a penalty was awarded which Dan Parks slipped home.’
      • ‘Boston almost scored when a Jason Lee header from Danny Thomas' cross was hacked off the line by Baraclough.’
      • ‘Porto attack, but Sergio tidies up at the back for Deportivo and the ball is hacked clear.’
      • ‘Kuffour chases him, similarly ignorant of the referee's assistant, and hacks him down.’
      • ‘Spain win another free-kick as Joaquin is hacked down.’
      • ‘In this physical game, the Africans hacked Diego Maradona all day.’
      • ‘He was sent off during the match after being tripped by Diego Simeone, and responding in the worst way a footballer could-he hacked Simeone's legs.’
      • ‘Stephens' clearance kick from behind his own post was kept in play by Ladell, who hacked the ball on three times in a shoulder-to-shoulder race to the tryline.’
      • ‘The ball was hacked half-clear to the edge of the box where Jean-Louis Valois's half-hit return was just about the only poor connection he made all day long.’
      • ‘Their best chance came from a free-kick on eight yards, foolishly conceded by Ryan Esson when he should either have hacked the ball away or allow it to pass for a corner.’
  • 2no object Gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer.

    ‘they hacked into the bank's computer’
    with object ‘someone hacked his computer from another location’
    ‘outlawing hacking has not stopped it’
    • ‘The screen froze a moment, then flashed, indicating that the block was up, and that the trade organization wouldn't be able to locate where they were hacking from.’
    • ‘A Florida teenager was banged up for six months yesterday after admitting he hacked into NASA systems.’
    • ‘He hacked into my e-mail accounts and read all my mail, new and old.’
    • ‘Mike easily hacked into the mainframe of the US government building and began to look for a map of the layout of the building, or at least a blueprint.’
    • ‘They seized books on hacking, a laptop computer and four desktop machines from his bedroom.’
    • ‘After hacking farther into the American Personnel files, he found the name of the chief investigator on the case.’
    • ‘He started hacking at 14, when he and a schoolfriend had a running game of trying to get into each other's websites.’
    • ‘I believe with further hacking it would be possible to control a fairly robust corporate or personal website with a wiki backend.’
    • ‘She had hacked into the CIA database and got the picture.’
    • ‘At the moment, banks and building societies usually cover the costs of crime, and will refund any losses if someone clones your credit card or hacks into your online account.’
    • ‘And those indulging in hacking but with malicious and criminal intent are crackers.’
    • ‘I hope his girlfriend breaks up with him today, his dog runs away and someone hacks into his AOL account and uses it to send threatening emails to the president.’
    • ‘First of all, you know we sent you that message, after you hacked into our database.’
    • ‘East Carolina University has fired a computer services employee who admitted to hacking into the school's computer network nearly three years ago.’
    • ‘We now have a maximum sentence of 7 years for reckless damage to a computer, 5 years for taking trade secrets, and 2 years for hacking.’
    • ‘BT would give no details of how someone could have hacked into the system.’
    • ‘It will also prevent outsiders hacking into police messages and allow police to go out on foot in rural areas safe in the knowledge that they are linked to the rest of the network.’
    • ‘She had already hacked into the Government computers within a few minutes.’
    • ‘In thirty seconds she'd hacked into the access computer.’
    • ‘Then he hacked into the computer systems and transferred money from the base's account to ours, wiping his trail clean.’
    1. 2.1 Program quickly and roughly.
      • ‘Mikey the Programmer is hacking away on the new FTP client feature of his groovy Macintosh software.’
      • ‘Other than a bit of hacking around with iMovie when it was first available for download a couple of years ago, I have never edited video of any kind before.’
      • ‘I've just spent the morning hacking around inside a Windows 2000 registry to solve the problem of account passwords not being stored in Outlook.’
      • ‘Ho hum, need to spend some time hacking around with Perl to see if I can get it working again!’
      • ‘If you want to do more, you'll have to hack around a bit or throw some parts and free software to build your own, but a minority of folks seem to go to such lengths.’
      • ‘Now, if only I remembered something about programming so I could hack together a Windows version…’
      • ‘Unfortunately I started by vaguely hacking around with Perl and have developed some appalling habits which Perl quite happily lets me get away with.’
      • ‘I've been so busy hacking around with HTML and building web pages about this particular subject that I have rather neglected to comment about it on here.’
      • ‘I like the idea of Linux, and I love puttering around with it, writing little scripts, hacking around with CGI and perl.’
  • 3no object Cough persistently.

    ‘I was waking up in the middle of the night and coughing and hacking for hours’
    • ‘Bronchitis and croup (infection of the airways) always involve a hacking, barking cough.’
  • 4hack itinformal usually with negative Manage; cope.

    ‘lots of people leave because they can't hack it’
    • ‘This way I could feel like part of a community instead of the lone, sole loser, the one who couldn't hack it.’
    • ‘I think it may be all some kind of test - throw Matt a project to manage on his second day and see if he can hack it.’
    • ‘Vote for other independents; at least you'll know they can hack it on their own.’
    • ‘Who know's what the future will hold there (and how long I'll be able to hack it - reckon about a year or so).’
    • ‘The question is, can he still hack it live. Well, can he?’
    • ‘What you will not see is any mention of those students who couldn't hack it, or who didn't do any better than if they had gone through the regular school system.’
    • ‘Because you will never be able to hack it in the modern world.’
    • ‘In one swift move, he has learned that life is tough at the cutting edge of Scottish journalism and if you can't hack it, put a knot in it.’
    • ‘Bearing in mind the conditions which affected both sides and caused lots of mistakes, it was Australia who just couldn't hack it when it came down to the crunch.’
    • ‘As the name implies, it means I've given up and I just can't hack it anymore.’
    • ‘Many baritone players are guys who couldn't really hack it as trumpet players.’
    • ‘I could never hack it as a full-time, stay-at-home dad.’
    • ‘And now, we learn that its greatest champions in Europe can't hack it.’
    • ‘Chris Cusiter proved he can hack it on the big stage and the late revival showed that the men in the thistle jerseys at least have pride in their professionalism.’
    • ‘I should be used to this by now, but I can't hack it.’
    • ‘The real surprise is how often the paid help - our legislators - agree that they can't hack it and put propositions on the ballot themselves.’
    • ‘Will they be able to hack it under fire at the general election?’
    • ‘Do Leigh have the temperament to hack it on the big occasion without losing their composure, and consequently, the match?’
    • ‘You wouldn't take a job like mine if you couldn't hack it.’
    • ‘If they find that she can't hack it over two miles at the top level she'll take her place in the World Hurdle instead, but that's not the dream.’
    cope, manage, get on, get along, get by, carry on, muddle through, muddle along, come through, stand on one's own two feet, weather the storm
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A rough cut, blow, or stroke.

    ‘he was sure one of us was going to take a hack at him’
    • ‘Weatherby made it 19-7 with a hack and chase to touch down.’
    • ‘He aims for the right hip of lefthanded hitters, and if the sinker breaks properly, they are unable to take a good hack as it crosses the inner half of the plate.’
    • ‘His hack out of the 22 broke the Ripon siege on Ilkley's line.’
    • ‘A stroll along the beach in search of seals and shells, or a hack around the hotel's six-hole golf course, is outing enough for most.’
    • ‘Combe though soon struck back after another Havant attack, which included more fortuitous hacks, was intercepted by Knuckley who took play deep into the home 22.’
    • ‘Jeff has a slightly open stance and takes a wicked hack at pitches he likes.’
    • ‘Caden's red practice jersey matches those of the players taking hacks in the batting cage, hours before a game against the Padres.’
    • ‘A major scare followed as Nick Bell had trouble clearing up a kick through allowing Selby a hack on and chase but the ball went dead.’
    • ‘He also smashed a couple of hacks high into the crowd.’
    • ‘My preparation amounted to a windswept hack around the Silverknowes course in Edinburgh.’
    • ‘He used to take hacks at my tires after school.’
    • ‘In this hack and slash action adventure you control a party three characters - a fighter, sorcerer and rogue.’
    • ‘A spot of possession allows Hamann to take a hack from 30 yards.’
    • ‘Cabrera sat down in between prodigious hacks in the batting-practice cage and said he had a lot to learn.’
    • ‘He grabbed two tries in the win at Wilderspool and repeated the brace showing blistering pace to chase Bobbie Goulding's kick and then his own hack ahead.’
    • ‘So, Jude chopped it down with only a few hacks from his hatchet and he and Josie carried it home.’
    • ‘Only a courageous tackle by young Matthews and a fortuitous hack on saved the day as West Leeds attacked.’
    • ‘He is impatient, which leads to a lot of bad hacks.’
    • ‘But with so many first- and second-pitch hacks, I was too heavy on the button, so I missed at least one half-inning.’
    • ‘The extra time has paid off; Blalock has cut down on his first-pitch hacks and is hitting better than.300.’
    1. 1.1 (in sport) a kick or a stroke with a stick inflicted on another player.
      • ‘Absolutely needless foul conceded by Van Der Meyde for a hack at Ljungberg.’
      • ‘Frings is booked for a Deco-v-Holland-style hack at Deco.’
      • ‘The second card, for Quashie, did follow an intentional, brutish hack at Belmadi, who went looking for revenge and was also booked.’
      • ‘The play was a little chippy, with what looked like Pippen taking some strong hacks at Celtics players.’
      • ‘Barnetta does his finest Cristiano Ronaldo impression, welling up as the ref takes his name for a hack at Shelayev.’
      • ‘Vieira picked up his first caution for a hack at van Bommel, who himself was lucky to escape a caution for following through on Campbell.’
      • ‘It might be more than fair to wonder where the points are going to come from when so many bumps and hacks aren't whistled.’
      • ‘Coly is booked for a little hack on Alexandersson.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for Marc and Bobby Sura, he took out many months of anger on Sura's head with a vicious hack as the Warrior attempted a layup.’
      • ‘While he did catch him in the head, the hack in no way merited a suspension.’
      • ‘It that been that way from the moment in the fourth minute when Ferdinand became the first of nine bookings by Andy D' Urso for a silly hack at William Gallas.’
      • ‘Gonzalez has a hack at someone else - who makes sure the ref knows he's in ‘agony’.’
      • ‘Cafu has a hack at Cahill's ankles and trots sheepishly away as Culina lines up the free-kick.’
      • ‘Yellow card for Mauricio Solis for a despicable hack on Edison Mendez.’
      • ‘After that, Justin Gregory might also have gone, but was so inexpert in trying to kick Jeffers that he missed with the hack.’
      • ‘The Dens player-boss, claiming the hack was unintended, almost agreed.’
    2. 1.2 A notch cut in the ice, or a peg inserted, to steady the foot when delivering a stone in curling.
      • ‘This gripper is used for pushing out of the hack (the foothold) and, more importantly, for propelling you down the ice when you're sweeping or just trying to get to the other end.’
    3. 1.3 A tool for rough striking or cutting, e.g. a mattock or a miner's pick.
    4. 1.4archaic A gash or wound.
  • 2informal An act of computer hacking.

    ‘the challenge of the hack itself’
    • ‘Thompson's hack was to modify the login program so that it would accept both your password or a password he specified and hard-coded into the system as valid.’
    • ‘I think the whole ecommerce-targeted hack last week was ever-so-slightly amusing.’
    • ‘Several media accounts described the data breach as a computer hack.’
    • ‘The firm is helping federal special agents to search the internet for any evidence that may led the FBI to the people behind the hacks.’
    • ‘I've been inundated with emails about this, and just now someone sent me a screenshot of the hack.’
    • ‘Beyond stating it's confident that no customer data was jeopardised by the hack, the company is staying schtum about the embarrassing security breach.’
    • ‘Fraud, not a computer hack, is responsible for the latest breach of more than 140,000 personal data records.’
    • ‘On the other hand, you post warnings about bugs and viruses, then post on the same page a hack to help screw with people's email.’
    • ‘Every hacker is at one and the same time producer and product of the hack, and emerges in its singularity as the memory of the hack as process.’
    • ‘The hacks are coming faster; the time between the revelation of a software vulnerability and a related exploitation by hackers is decreasing.’
    • ‘The problem is, however, that the tools and methods are very much the same for a classic hack as for a computer terrorist act.’
    • ‘The way in which the attack was carried out indicates that this was no ordinary hack.’
    • ‘As some of you may know, the source code was leaked before launch, so Valve is re-writing portions of it to address the potential problems of front-end hacks.’
    • ‘We reported on this hack of their website yesterday.’
    • ‘A dictionary hack would crack that password in a few moments.’
    • ‘The China Daily has an article about the hack together with a screen shot of the hacked site.’
    • ‘In the moment before data is re-encrypted, it is left vulnerable to a hack.’
    • ‘For them, each hack presented a new challenge and, in most cases, a new victory.’
    • ‘The end result was about two hours after going back online, they were hacked again with the same hack.’
    • ‘Jen wouldn't try this big of a hack on any other computer because she wouldn't be able to cover her tracks, but with this computer she could.’
    1. 2.1 A piece of computer code providing a quick or inelegant solution to a particular problem.
      ‘this hack doesn't work on machines that have a firewall’
      • ‘I figured I'd hit a sticking point eventually and if necessary, resort to some ugly table hack to finish the job.’
      • ‘We can now overclock video cards with registry hacks, and software such as Powerstrip.’
      • ‘You have many excellent alternatives to a keyboard hack available to you today.’
      • ‘In the early years, designers used tricks like animated GIFs and table hacks in clever, interesting and horrible ways.’
      • ‘I'm not sure MS can devise some sort of hack to fix that, but maybe there's a ISAPI plugin that can.’
      • ‘It's become clear that Web page authors must move beyond the current grab bag of hacks and workarounds and learn to write compliant and efficient markup.’
      • ‘Technically, both were easily customizable hacks built on open-source software and generic hardware.’
      • ‘It is possible to successfully use a keyboard hack, but there are several obstacles to overcome first.’
      • ‘We geeks who buy the latest and greatest will often gleefully trade work-a-rounds, hacks, or other tidbits of information needed to make things work.’
      • ‘Keyboard hacks can be an extremely low-cost way to go, and can either be fun or infuriating to build depending on your temperament and soldering skill.’
      • ‘Not all of the techniques will work cross-browser without some CSS hacks, and some of the hacks will cause your code to be invalid.’
      • ‘Linksys, now owned by Cisco, not only doesn't mind your hacking the box, they are including some of those hacks in their revised firmware.’
      • ‘I actually am looking for a hack or script that would change the color of a mobile device in my buddy list.’
      • ‘The best way to keep sites simple is to use the most efficient way of coding an effect, avoiding both CSS hacks and JavaScript objects.’
      • ‘Some people will comment here or email me and say how easy it is to implement all the hacks and scripts, how easy it is to fool with the templates and that's great for those people.’
      • ‘To get my mac to the same, I had to setup a similar program, and both hacks ended up constantly sending flat files to my server over insecure FTP.’
      • ‘If you are going to pursue a keyboard hack, there is a good article on the Internet that I suggest consulting as an addendum to the material presented here.’
      • ‘To the developer, making Linux work on an iPod is more than a clever hack or a technical challenge.’
      • ‘The economy models make excellent alternatives to keyboard hacks, providing the functionality of a keyboard hack with less effort involved.’
      • ‘Seems that the upgraded firmware, hacks, and possibly GTA are the only major factors getting any real attention.’
    2. 2.2 A strategy or technique for managing one's time or activities more efficiently.
      ‘another hack that will save time is to cover your side mirrors with a plastic bag when freezing rain is forecast’

Phrasal Verbs

  • hack around

    • Pass one's time idly or with no definite purpose.

      ‘she hacked around with neighbourhood buddies’
      • ‘It had to be a directed activity - dozing in the sun would be hacking around, but building a dam in the creek would not be.’
      • ‘We were playing a lot together, hacking around, and drinking a lot of free beer.’
      • ‘Because I'm going to make the improvements on this new ship of yours before I decide to start hacking around.’
      • ‘The Racquet Clubbers had little in common with the inventors of squash - aimless schoolboys hacking around back alleys avoiding homework.’
      • ‘To be hacking around in his company is to be handed the ultimate humiliation.’
      • ‘I just hacked around town on my own, running errands.’
      • ‘I had no lessons or anything, so I kind of hacked around until I was 17, then I quit.’
  • hack someone off

    • Annoy or infuriate someone.

      ‘it really hacks me off when they whine about what a poor job we're doing’
      • ‘I had no business bidding anyway and it's better I lost, but the winner, a woman with money who's cornered the memorabilia market, hacks me off all the same.’
      • ‘Okay, I'm a country gal and sometimes stuff hacks me off.’
      • ‘Casablanca is often called the finest Hollywood film of all time, which has always really hacked me off, I've never highly rated the thing.’
      • ‘It's the smug exclamation mark that really hacks me off.’
      • ‘When they did manage to win against us, they were so arrogant with their parading round the ground, it hacked us off.’
      • ‘‘It's beginning to really hack me off,’ she confesses.’
      • ‘Congratulations - not only have you lost a regular customer, you've also hacked him off enough that he'll tell all his friends and colleagues not to use them.’
      • ‘And for those of us who'd want a game to show some semblance of purity, perhaps a little self-restraint, at least a touch of professionalism, does this deepening morass hack you off?’
      • ‘If someone hacks me off now I have to tell them, because resentment leads to anxiety which leads to depression.’
      • ‘Well, there was a whole heap of hacks and they were hacked off for a whole heap of reasons.’
      • ‘It's an important issue for us women, and for a man, any man, to feel uncomfortable about her discussing it hacks her off.’
      • ‘Is it me or does it hack you off when some nobody scoots off with our claret jug?’
      • ‘The Government is hacked off that people are not very grateful.’
      • ‘But really the only winners were the French and they were hacked off with the English weather, especially when they eventually reached Carlisle.’
      • ‘Car culture per se puts my teeth on edge, but TV ads for cars tend to be part of the more visible opinion formation/reflection mechanism and hence hack me off.’

Origin

Old English haccian ‘cut in pieces’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch hakken and German hacken.

Pronunciation

hack

/hak/

Main definitions of hack in English

: hack1hack2hack3

hack2

noun

  • 1A writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work.

    ‘Sunday newspaper hacks earn their livings on such gullibilities’
    • ‘Scriptwriters insist on depicting reporters as unscrupulous, hard-bitten hacks who'd sooner sell their granny than miss out on a scoop.’
    • ‘Most of the folks coming are friends, but they've invited their neighbours - a hack writer and his wife - to smooth over a dispute about the dog.’
    • ‘Editorial and headline writers and the hacks at the television news outlets have no time for such contradictions.’
    • ‘Was the poor gentleman under the impression that I am a councillor or a psychiatrist instead of just a newspaper hack?’
    • ‘Once upon a time, the hacks of Fleet Street and the politicians of Whitehall were all on the same side - that of the British establishment, united against the public.’
    • ‘As you will sure agree, what follows is some of the most illuminating journalism since those two hacks at the Washington Post brought Watergate down on Nixon.’
    • ‘But new recruits will need to cultivate diplomacy, and that frequently eludes a successful newspaper hack.’
    • ‘While big budget often means lousy script and too many hacks spending the money, low-budget doesn't automatically mean quality.’
    • ‘Scott Roberts's screenplay crackles with crisp dialogue that's never so witty that it sounds forced, or like a hack writer showing off.’
    • ‘But even a third-rate hack, wannabe journalist like me can spot bad reporting.’
    • ‘Their slow-burning songs bear enough resemblance to Cave to have music journalists and PR hacks throwing around big nice words.’
    • ‘But is her secret, as some rivals are sniffily suggesting, simply to have let tabloid newspaper hacks loose in the more respectful world of magazines?’
    • ‘The article and accompanying cartoon were projected on a screen in front of a room of hacks and sub-editors, as the master dissected it.’
    • ‘A handful of idealistic hacks questioned the journalistic ethics of accepting freebies, but they no longer work at the paper.’
    • ‘They discovered the bar crammed full of newspaper hacks and TV presenters, tapping away at laptops and writing in notepads.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, literary hacks and Grub Street writers produced popular pot boilers for the masses.’
    • ‘Whether these journalists are hacks or heroes is not the issue.’
    • ‘It was an era before distrust, cynicism, agents, and chequebook journalism permanently soured the relationship between footballers and hacks.’
    • ‘‘It's a stock pickers' market’ is sometimes misused by market hacks to describe a dull or flat market.’
    • ‘We newspaper hacks have been deluding ourselves.’
    journalist, reporter, correspondent, newspaperman, newspaperwoman, newsman, newswoman, writer, feature writer, contributor, columnist, grub street writer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who does dull routine work.
      • ‘And vote counters should be nonpartisan public servants, not secretive corporations or party hacks.’
      • ‘He's going to bring in a whole new batch of people rather than these political hacks who've destroyed our economy.’
      • ‘The fact that such a meeting will enable people to concentrate on issues without the party political hacks breathing down their necks is sufficient reason, I'd suggest!’
      • ‘This is what you get when you loan your hard-won credibility to hacks and charlatans.’
      • ‘As potent, according to both Lib Dems and Labour hacks, were the ultra local issues.’
      • ‘Sadly, the cronies and party hacks who now fill his Cabinet and backroom offices fall some way short of that ideal.’
      • ‘It is apparent that he has become a hack in the service of a candidate for the highest office in the land.’
      • ‘A lot of people see you as talentless hacks, ripping off the Ramones.’
      • ‘For me, an advertising hack, the right kind is the person who will offer me a job one day.’
      • ‘Lisa, you don't need the money and you certainly could find better ways to spend it than hiring unoriginal hacks with whom to collaborate.’
      • ‘And as Norm points out, you know, no one can accuse these people of being hacks.’
      • ‘When his company probes management structures, exposing the fact that bosses are party hacks or people appointed because of connections, the clients often balk.’
      • ‘The story fed by his enemies in the Agency is that dedicated career intelligence officers have been replaced by Capitol Hill hacks.’
      • ‘I too think I understand them, and I think they are quacks, hacks, and lying charlatans motivated solely by greed.’
      • ‘I was friendly with the Student Union hacks and lots of people in the debating society and law.’
      • ‘We road-tested the ice cream on various office hacks and it went down a storm.’
      • ‘The director is a left nationalist, but he is neither a charlatan nor a hack.’
      • ‘These are the people that EU hacks are thinking of when they hold their three day workshops on the need to address people's ‘insecurities’.’
      • ‘The media quickly picked up the vibe; from the very beginning he was portrayed as a drudge, a hack, a bore and, therefore, a loser.’
      • ‘Wandering through the Conference Hotel late at night, one could not move for clearly affluent young people in suits and lean and hungry aspiring hacks.’
      drudge, menial, menial worker, factotum, toiler, plodder, doormat, hewer of wood and drawer of water
      View synonyms
  • 2A horse for ordinary riding.

    • ‘English breeders are turning their attention chiefly to hacks, hunters and heavy draft horses.’
    • ‘As to who of the above appeared on the sacred gallops on bicycles, who on hacks and who in motors, we can only surmise.’
    • ‘The stables catered for hacks, hunters, carriage horses and carriages and the Georgian quadrangle was established as the ideal pattern.’
    • ‘A Munnings horse on the other hand has a lot of the stable about it - a lot of knowledge, no doubt, and a lot to attract others who know their hacks, hunters and ponies.’
    • ‘They are quite often sent off on loan for someone to use as hacks or show jump them.’
    nag, inferior horse, tired-out horse, worn-out horse, rosinante
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A good-quality lightweight riding horse, especially one used in the show ring.
      • ‘A type of high-class riding horse, the hack is associated almost exclusively with the show ring.’
    2. 2.2 A ride on a horse.
      • ‘Bally seemed content with her new role: grazing the field was interrupted by the odd hack out, and then back to eating.’
      • ‘One favoured method of working off excess energy before a work out or a hack is to lunge the horse for a short period before mounting.’
      • ‘My horse actually got a scab on her leg from a hack and I've spent the last four days at the barn treating it and of course, riding!’
      • ‘Lessons continued in her 21-horse centre, but the country hacks, popular with tourists, have stopped, bringing a massive loss of business.’
      • ‘Sunday is also unofficially Kids Day and there will more horse events including junior hacks and riding classes as well as some fun prizes for the prettiest mare and handsomest colt in the gala ring.’
    3. 2.3 A horse let out for hire.
    4. 2.4 An inferior or worn-out horse.
      • ‘A smart trainer at Newmarket will ride out on the Heath on his hack, which may be a sumptuous former racehorse.’
      • ‘Having escaped serious injury throughout his racing career, Tommy was lamed for life through a fall from his hack while riding to the post office in the Curragh Camp.’
      nag, inferior horse, tired-out horse, worn-out horse, rosinante
      View synonyms
  • 3North American A taxi.

    • ‘You're going to have to take me or I'll turn you in and you'll lose your hack license.’
    taxi, cab, taxi cab, minicab, hackney cab
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]usually as noun hacking
  • Ride a horse for pleasure or exercise.

    ‘some gentle hacking in a scenic setting’
    • ‘Many bridleways were closed following the outbreak of the disease, and riders had to exercise their horses on private land or hack out on tarmac roads.’
    • ‘If you don't need to get fit that quickly, think in terms of lots of walking, hacking and hill work.’
    • ‘I ride horses, and enjoy hacking across the countryside.’
    • ‘She was used for hacking but her owner was pregnant and the horse was too much for her.’
    • ‘Some years ago I was out hacking on my young horse.’
    • ‘Friars' Hill is a riding school approved by the British Horse Society to provide instruction, trekking, hacking, livery and jumping up to BHS level A2.’
    • ‘On a fine day, straddle a horse, stir your stirrups and hack through Glentress forest.’

Origin

Middle English (in hack (sense 2 of the noun)): abbreviation of hackney. hack (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the late 17th century.

Pronunciation

hack

/hak/

Main definitions of hack in English

: hack1hack2hack3

hack3

noun

  • 1A board on which a hawk's meat is laid.

    • ‘‘Take up’ is sometimes used to mean to withdraw a hawk from the mews or from hack with a view to preparing her for hunting.’
  • 2A wooden frame for drying bricks, cheeses, etc.

    1. 2.1 A pile of bricks stacked up to dry before firing.

Phrases

  • at hack

    • (of a young hawk) given partial liberty but not yet allowed to hunt for itself.

      • ‘To be at hack is to be in the state of partial liberty in which eyas hawks are kept before being trained, not being allowed to prey for themselves.’
      • ‘For a hawk at hack, food is often tied to the hack board to discourage her from forming the habit of carrying.’

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting the lower half of a divided door): variant of hatch.

Pronunciation

hack

/hak/