phreaker

noun phreak·er \ ˈfrē-kər \

Definition of phreaker

: one who gains illegal access to the telephone system

phreaking

play \ˈfrē-kiŋ\ noun

phreaker was our Word of the Day on 06/01/2015. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of phreaker from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phreaker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Phreakers are people who specialize in attacks on the telephone system. The word, which became popular in the mid-1980s, is probably a combination of the words phone and freak. (Phreakers are also known as "phreaks" or "phone phreaks.") In the early days, phreakers whistled or used an instrument to mimic the tones the phone system then used to route calls and identify payment, especially as a way to avoid paying for an expensive call. Modern phreaking involves breaking into and manipulating the phone company's computer system, making it a specialized kind of hacking.

First Known Use of phreaker

1984

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Learn More about phreaker


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

very hard to disturb or upset

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!