hack·​er | \ ˈha-kər How to pronounce hacker (audio) \

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


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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 The field of cybersecurity grew out of a hacker culture in which the open and free flow of information is among the most important values. Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2021 Cybersecurity experts warn that a notorious hacker marketplace is being used by ransomware gangs to breach U.S. companies and government organizations. Dan Patterson, CBS News, 8 Sep. 2021 The famous hacker duo who took control of a Jeep Cherokee back in 2015 now work for Cruise, the autonomous-vehicle subsidiary of General Motors. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 4 Sep. 2021 Pearson learns that millions of rows of school administrator, teacher and student data were downloaded by a hacker using an unpatched vulnerability to gain access. James Rundle, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2021 The good news is that there's no sign that any hacker actually abused the latest Microsoft Azure bug. Brian Barrett, Wired, 28 Aug. 2021 Patti Harrison’s hacker character adds a pleasantly low-key undercurrent of aggrieved competence. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 26 Aug. 2021 Sponsored but not necessarily micromanaged by Beijing, this new breed of hacker attacks government targets and private companies alike, mixing traditional espionage with outright fraud and other crimes for profit. New York Times, 26 Aug. 2021 In an earlier era, that was the typical strategy for a new male actor in demand: get him in a generic rom-com quickly, along with a generic action thriller (in this case, the nonsensical hacker flick Swordfish). David Sims, The Atlantic, 22 Aug. 2021

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

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hacker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hacker. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for hacker



English Language Learners Definition of hacker

: 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 How to pronounce hacker (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hacker

Nglish: Translation of hacker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hacker for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hacker


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