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

These thinkers were the latest inheritors of MIT’s 'hacker ethic': iconoclastic engineers who used applied science to try to make the world a better place. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Joi Ito Resigns as Director of the M.I.T. Media Lab: raceAhead," 9 Sep. 2019 Shortly thereafter, Executive Car Rental's Google account was compromised, allegedly with the help of Ukrainian hackers, according to the lawsuit. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Dana Nessel campaign consultant extorted local car rental business, lawsuit claims," 6 Sep. 2019 Cybercriminals are able to hack into one company’s system through another’s — when discount retailer Target had a data breach in 2013 hackers first invaded the system of a Target supplier. Joyce M. Rosenberg, Houston Chronicle, "Cybercriminals manipulate their way into company computers," 6 Sep. 2019 Last week, hackers reportedly from a group called the Chuckle Squad managed to take over Dorsey’s account for a time and use it to send out racist messages. Rex Crum, The Mercury News, "Twitter clamps down on tweeting via text messages," 5 Sep. 2019 Earlier on Wednesday, the Twitter account of actress Chloë Moretz appeared to have been compromised by the same group of hackers that accessed Dorsey's account. David Ingram, NBC News, "Twitter halts feature that enabled hack of CEO Jack Dorsey's account," 4 Sep. 2019 Apple said that hackers had obtained nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities by pilfering images from individual accounts rather than through a broader attack on the company's services. orlandosentinel.com, "Today in history: September 2," 2 Sep. 2019 The implant was capable of giving hackers access to iPhone users' contacts, photos and location, as well as data from apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram, Gmail and Google Hangouts, according to the Project Zero researchers. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "Google finds evidence of attempted mass iPhone hack," 30 Aug. 2019 The report suggests that a collection of malicious websites created a network of tools that allowed hackers to break through layers of iOS software security. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Google found iPhone security flaws that allowed websites to hack iOS users 'en masse'," 30 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

12 Sep 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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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