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

Over 225 mayors across the US have backed a resolution to not pay ransoms to hackers, as reported by The New York Times. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Mayors around the country join forces to fight hacker ransoms," 12 July 2019 That means every smart car could theoretically be broken into and controlled on some level by savvy hackers, criminals or worse. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Here's how hackers are making your Tesla, GM and Chrysler less vulnerable to attack," 5 July 2019 After tracking down the savvy Manhattan hacker, he's stunned to find gorgeous genius Natalie Crosetto. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Penetration testing takes on new meaning when cyber meets Harlequin," 5 July 2019 Real estate agents are being targeted by hackers, who use the email accounts to learn when a home is about to close, then email clients new wiring instructions shortly before the transaction. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Hackers target real estate agent emails in growing loan scam," 1 July 2019 Maybe the next big cybersecurity bet by venture capitalists will involve startups that specialize in A.I. that detects hackers, merely by listening to their voices. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Investors Go 'Phishing' For Gold In the Cybersecurity Market—Cyber Saturday," 22 June 2019 Yesterday, Thorne shut down the argument in a tearful Instagram video, reminding Goldberg that the only crime committed and shameful act here was done by a hacker, not her. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Bella Thorne Thanks Zendaya, Lily Rose Depp & More For Support After Nude Photo Hack," 20 June 2019 Cybersecurity experts are concerned that because the technology is inexpensive and easy to use, deepfakes will be deployed by a large swath of hackers, ranging from nation-states to political agitators to individual hactivists. Dan Patterson, CBS News, "From deepfake to "cheap fake," it's going to be harder than ever to tell what's true on your favorite apps and websites," 13 June 2019 By making programming more mathematical, a community of computer scientists is hoping to eliminate the coding bugs that can open doors to hackers, spill digital secrets and generally plague modern society. Quanta Magazine, "Cryptography That Can’t Be Hacked," 2 Apr. 2019

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

18 Jul 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).


something desired as essential

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