reverse engineer

reverse engineered; reverse engineering; reverse engineers

Definition of reverse engineer

transitive verb

: to disassemble and examine or analyze in detail (a product or device) to discover the concepts involved in manufacture usually in order to produce something similar

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Other Words from reverse engineer

reverse engineering noun

Examples of reverse engineer in a Sentence

They reverse engineered the software.
Recent Examples on the Web Imagine biting into a layered, flaky pastry and then using the innermost folds and layers to reverse engineer how the pastry began. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Canada Has Been Hiding Earth's Missing Tectonic Plate This Whole Time," 29 Oct. 2020 The only way the email could have been faked is if someone hacked into Google's servers, found the private key, and used it to reverse engineer the email's DKIM signature, Graham, said. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Cybersecurity expert says Hunter Biden email about former VP meeting Burisma official is authentic," 29 Oct. 2020 The research uses ice cores from a European glacier to reverse engineer factors like precipitation and overall air temperatures at the time. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Bad Weather During WWI Made the Spanish Flu Deadlier," 23 Oct. 2020 As Andy Greenberg reports in this epic piece for Wired, Hutchins learned to reverse engineer botnets in part by creating and selling his own malware as a youth in England. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "The ‘Accidental Hero’ Who Saved the Internet from WannaCry," 10 Aug. 2020 Knowing another person or company spent the time to copy our work, reverse engineer our code ... Brendan Nystedt, Wired, "Retro Hackers Are Building a Better Nintendo Game Boy," 10 June 2020 For three prudish years, game developers tried to reverse engineer and crack the 10NES’s code. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Cracking the Chip: How Hacking the NES Made It Even Better," 3 May 2020 Liddle credits reverse engineering with helping her navigate. NBC News, "This entrepreneur mom is on a mission to eliminate hunger—one granola bar at a time," 21 Feb. 2020 That ability means anyone who knows how to put the code in place can also reverse engineer it. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "New Encryption System Protects Data from Quantum Computers," 8 Oct. 2019

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

1973, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for reverse engineer

Time Traveler

The first known use of reverse engineer was in 1973

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Cite this Entry

“Reverse engineer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for reverse engineer

reverse engineer


English Language Learners Definition of reverse engineer

technical : to study the parts of (something) to see how it was made and how it works so that you can make something that is like it

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