hack·​a·​thon ˈha-kə-ˌthän How to pronounce hackathon (audio)
plural hackathons
: an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively with one another and sometimes with people in other specialties over a relatively short period of time to create code usually for a new software product or service
The goal of a hackathon is to create a prototype of an idea in record time—often over a single weekend. For the ambitious software developer, that usually means no rest or leafy greens.Kristen V. Brown
It's a hackathon—a contest to pitch, program, and present a functioning Android mobile application in 48 hours.Steven Leckart
In the past, she's led students in accessibility hackathons where they designed sensor systems for wheelchairs and a game for the blind.Brittany Britto

Examples of hackathon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Recruiting or promoting talent, increasing budgets, and sponsoring hackathons are important to injecting new ideas into a business. Joe McKendrick, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Hundreds of bright young technologists have landed in California this weekend for a two-day hackathon — a quintessential start-up contest in which teams of coders race to build software. Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 Designers then worked on the projects part-time for six months,instead of the two or three days common in hackathons. Bynicholas Gordon, Fortune, 30 Oct. 2023 Moonlight continued to be improved and expanded upon at hackathons like MHacks and HackCWRU (Case Western) and then as an open-source GitHub repository. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 1 Apr. 2023 In total, the inaugural e-voting hackathon turned up at least 18 new vulnerabilities to e-voting and e-poll book systems. IEEE Spectrum, 3 Aug. 2017 Adeleke emphasized that future hackathons should involve more researchers and health care workers from other countries. Lizzy Lawrence, STAT, 13 Nov. 2023 This summer, Ukraine’s government hosted a hackathon for firms to work on ways to jam Iranian Shahed drones, which are long-range unmanned aerial vehicles that have been used to hit cities deep inside the country, said Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister. Aaron Krolik, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2023 The hackathon took place over the course of four days, not five. Lizzy Lawrence, STAT, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hackathon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


hack entry 1 + -athon

First Known Use

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hackathon was in 1990

Dictionary Entries Near hackathon

Cite this Entry

“Hackathon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hackathon. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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