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


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

Led by chief technology officer Raffi Krikorian, whose resume includes senior roles at Uber and Twitter, the DNC has been hiring tech talent from Silicon Valley and training staff to spot suspicious emails and signs of hackers targeting the party. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Inside the race to hack-proof the Democratic Party," 18 Oct. 2018 In a few cases, the Voting Village's collection of hacker/researchers discovered that hacking the voting machines took less time than voting. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Defcon Voting Village report: Bug in one system could “flip Electoral College”," 27 Sep. 2018 Pyongyang's army of hackers is also believed to have stolen cryptocurrency from organizations and individuals throughout the world. Sam Webb, Fox News, "Iran, North Korea and Venezuela turning to cryptocurrency to bypass US sanctions, experts warn," 7 Sep. 2018 Get our daily newsletter The answer came from a mysterious group of hackers. The Economist, "Why Arabs are watching a pirated World Cup feed," 21 June 2018 The county's information technology infrastructure, the target of hackers who crippled many computer systems last December, will get $5.7 million in security upgrades and 11 new staff positions. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Mecklenburg budget approved. Here's how much more taxpayers will pay next year.," 20 June 2018 And in February, a report indicated that a group of North Korean hackers known as Reaper was targeting major international companies. Zachary Cohen, CNN, "US warns of North Korea cyber campaign, days after historic summit," 14 June 2018 For years, the Chinese have engaged in a massive effort to recruit human spies in the West, and can call on an army of skilled hackers to gather intelligence from the web. NBC News, "U.S. officials prepare to thwart Chinese spying at Singapore summit," 8 June 2018 As automakers develop remote-update systems, customer privacy and fear of hackers are two big issues that give them pause. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "Consumer Reports embraces Tesla's Model 3, recommending the car after Tesla fixes brake issue," 30 May 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

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hacker

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

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More Definitions for hacker



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
US, informal : 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

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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).


a strong desire or propensity

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