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

One of the hackers who carried out a 2014 attack on JP Morgan Chase to steal data on 80 million customers has struck a plea deal with prosecutors. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Why Cities Need to De-Emphasize Cars and Turn Streets Into Parks—Data Sheet," 17 Sep. 2019 The Trump administration on Friday imposed sanctions on a notorious, if opaque, constellation of North Korean hackers believed to be responsible for dozens of cyberattacks around the world, including the 2014 hacking of Sony Pictures. Washington Post, "U.S. imposes sanctions on North Korean hackers accused in Sony attack, dozens of other incidents," 13 Sep. 2019 In the meantime, update the security settings on your social media accounts to avoid being a target of hackers … or join an exclusive club and buy a bottle of aspirin. Eric Scott, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The social media value scale of ‘being hacked’," 13 Sep. 2019 As more devices become connected, cybersecurity experts said there’s a significant risk of hackers accessing smart home networks, and even U.S. critical infrastructure, including information sharing systems, power plants or other targets. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "5G: What is it, and how will it change your life?," 2 Sep. 2019 The rules and bylaws committee received a closed-door briefing from security experts last week at the summer meeting in San Francisco and heard major concerns about the ability of hackers to compromise the existing technology for a virtual caucus. Michael Scherer, BostonGlobe.com, "To guard against hacking, Democrats will recommend scrapping virtual caucus," 30 Aug. 2019 The city has not explained how its network fell victim to hackers, who locked up files and demanded payment for the keys. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore IT director who was at helm during ransomware attack and city’s recovery is on leave," 10 Sep. 2019 Last October, while on supervisory release after being indicted for those crimes, Schuchman created a new botnet and also arranged a swatting attack on one of his co-conspirators, the plea agreement, which is signed by the hacker, said. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "IoT botnet creator cops plea to hacking more than 800,000 devices," 4 Sep. 2019 The indictment, filed on Wednesday in Washington State, are the first formal charges against the alleged hacker, Paige Thompson. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "New Indictment Alleges Capital One Hacker Also Hit a University, State Agency, and Telecom Provider," 29 Aug. 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

10 Oct 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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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