hack·​er | \ˈha-kər \

Definition of hacker 

1 : one that hacks

2 : a person who is inexperienced or unskilled at a particular activity a tennis hacker

3 : an expert at programming and solving problems with a computer

4 : a person who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system

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Synonyms for hacker


cracker, cyberpunk

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Examples of hacker in a Sentence

My friends and I have been playing golf for years, but we're still just a bunch of hackers. the company's security experts spent days trying to figure out how a hacker could have gotten past the firewall

Recent Examples on the Web

Because the key was identical for all installations of the software, hackers could use the root certificate to generate forged TLS certificates that impersonated any HTTPS website on the Internet. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Sennheiser discloses monumental blunder that cripples HTTPS on PCs and Macs," 28 Nov. 2018 The effect is to help protect your iOS device against an iPhone unlocking mechanism used by criminal hackers or other parties — including GrayKey from Grayshift, a tool employed by law enforcement to break into suspects' locked phones. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "New iOS 11.4.1 feature may protect your iPhone from getting hacked -- or cracked by cops," 9 July 2018 What’s more, as Mueller’s indictment of Russian spies for the DNC hack details, hackers responded to Trump’s public encouragement of hacking against Clinton by redoubling their efforts to hack her the very next day. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Every sentence of Trump’s tweet accusing Democrats of “collusion” with Russia is a lie," 15 Nov. 2018 UPnP weaknesses can also allow hackers to bypass firewall protections. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "A 100,000-router botnet is feeding on a 5-year-old UPnP bug in Broadcom chips," 12 Nov. 2018 But there’s no shutter or slide to assuage the fears of those worried about hackers spying on them without their knowledge. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) hands on: HP's convertible notebook leaps to six cores," 23 Oct. 2018 That breach showed how governments were increasingly turning to mercenary hackers-for-hire to pry into the cellphones and computers of their domestic opponents. Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Man linked to Saudi prince at consulate when writer vanished," 18 Oct. 2018 In the movie, four high school girls have their lives turned upside down when an anonymous hacker suddenly begins to reveal all of their personal texts, messages, and secrets. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Fans Wonder If Bella Thorne's Instagram Was Hacked," 22 Sep. 2018 For example, the indictment noted that one person — identified by two government officials as Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump — was in touch with both the hackers and senior members of the Trump campaign. New York Times, "Gap Between Trump and Justice Dept. Officials Grows Starker," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hacker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hacker

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near hacker

hacked off





hack hammer


Statistics for hacker

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hacker

The first known use of hacker was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of hacker

computers : a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information, cause damage, etc. : a person who hacks into a computer system

: a person who plays a sport badly


hack·​er | \ˈha-kər \

Kids Definition of hacker

2 : an expert at programming and solving problems with a computer

3 : a person who illegally gains access to a computer system

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More from Merriam-Webster on hacker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hacker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hacker

Spanish Central: Translation of hacker

Nglish: Translation of hacker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hacker for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hacker

Comments on hacker

What made you want to look up hacker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

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