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 actor also spent weeks being unconscious and the viral hashtag campaign #WakeUpNick sprung up on social media to support him. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Nick Cordero's wife says, 'He's not done'," 22 May 2020 The #21BuiltStrong hashtag is one example of how MSU's new staff have embraced today’s digital-first culture and have utilized social media as a recruiting tool. Sean Merriman, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan State football's social media team helps close the deal on recruiting trail," 21 May 2020 Some have began using the hashtag #boycottFedex in response to the situation. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Drivers reportedly fired after video posted of confrontation with Georgia FedEx customer," 21 May 2020 Enter the cover-song contest by posting a video on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #JaggedFanCovers. Maya Salam, New York Times, "Katy Perry Performs and Takes Fan Questions," 15 May 2020 To participate, share your story on your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook page using the hashtag #MyEssentialHeroes. Essence, "#MyEssentialHeroes: Do You Have A Loved One On The Frontlines? We Want To Hear From You," 14 May 2020 Through Sunday, May 17, participants are encouraged to post photos of their Ohio beer purchases to Instagram with hashtag #OhioBrewHaul. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Ohio Brew Haul initiative aims to boost state’s breweries," 13 May 2020 The #ToosieSlide hashtag reportedly hit 1 billion views in two days on TikTok, a first for the app. Candace Mcduffie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Club Quarantine and beat battles: How black musicians raise spirits, money," 12 May 2020 While many of the headlines and hashtags are often for men — the primary victims of such shootings — black women are also impacted. Washington Post, "Family seeks answers in fatal police shooting of Louisville woman in her apartment," 12 May 2020

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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The first known use of hashtag was in 2007

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Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hashtag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hashtag. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for hashtag


How to pronounce hashtag (audio)

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

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