hash·​tag | \ ˈhash-ˌtag How to pronounce hashtag (audio) \
plural hashtags

Definition of hashtag

: a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet) You know a thing is really a thing these days when it has its own hashtag. And there it was last week, trending on Twitter alongside #cincodemayo and #happymothersday: #umpshow, which sprang up in the wake of some shockingly bad umpiring over the first six weeks of the major league season.— Joe Sheehan It's also true that a popular hashtag can benefit important and worthy subjects, such as the recently kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.— Mark Leibovich also : the symbol # as used in a hashtag

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Did You Know?

Social media has made the hashtag a ubiquitous part of Internet culture, starting with Twitter and expanding to other sites. Originally designed for categorizing posts, the hashtag can now be a tool for a supplementary coy or witty comment (e.g., #awkward). The word tag can mean "a word or phrase used for description or identification." Hash is short for hash mark, a term for what we more commonly call a pound sign (and, less commonly, an octothorp). The hash in hash mark is probably an alteration of hatch, a term for the crisscrossing of lines (as when adding shading to a drawing).

Examples of hashtag in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The new feature, called the chat sticker, joins a bunch of other stickers Instagram has introduced to Stories, including polls, question boxes, mentions, locations, hashtags, and countdowns, among others. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A conservative audit of Facebook’s speech policies is running behind schedule," 3 July 2019 Word marks: Signature terms, words and hashtags like #HRDERBY are scattered for photo opportunities. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Play Ball Park: Sneak peek - 16 things to know (photos, video)," 3 July 2019 The 15-year-old Brown, who is an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ rights, became the target of the hashtag #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown, and photos of her were used for homophobic memes. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "7-year-old ‘Avengers: Endgame’ actress Lexi Rabe responds to online bullying by adult," 27 June 2019 But these statements aren’t pristine or sugar-coated or full of hashtags and ‘at’ symbols. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "At Hollywood ‘Personify’ exhibit, South Florida puppet artists give death and politics a hand," 7 June 2019 Following the song's release, several hashtags and phrases relating to the release trended worldwide on Twitter. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "BTS' Jin Releases Poignant Solo Track 'Tonight': Listen," 4 June 2019 While celebrities including Rihanna put up the color on their profiles, along with hashtags like #BlueForSudan, others apparently decided to set up bogus Instagram accounts to exploit the campaign to get more followers and shares. Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, "Fake Instagram accounts are hijacking Sudan solidarity campaign," 18 June 2019 Rage, pain, and dissent were not only openly on view in this year’s Bienal de la Habana in Cuba, but were featured and promoted with hashtags like #CubaEsCultura. The New York Review of Books, "The Art of the Possible at Havana’s Bienal," 15 June 2019 She was dropped by her book publisher and resigned from Vassar College's board of trustees after the show prompted the #CancelLindaFairstein hashtag on social media and calls for her prior cases to be re-examined. NBC News, "Central Park Five prosecutor no longer at Columbia Law School after student petition," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hashtag.' 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 hashtag

2007, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near hashtag

hash out

hash sign



hash up



Statistics for hashtag

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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The first known use of hashtag was in 2007

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English Language Learners Definition of hashtag

: a word or phrase that starts with the symbol # and that briefly indicates what a message (such as a tweet) is about

Comments on hashtag

What made you want to look up hashtag? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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