white hat


Definition of white hat

1 : one who is admirable and honorable
2 : a mark or symbol of goodness could use a few more guys in white hats— Robert Christgau
3 : a hacker who tests computer systems for possible vulnerabilities so that they can be fixed Chu, 33, is part of a fraternity known as "penetration testers" or "ethical hackers," a group of experts who are hired to hack into computer systems or find other ways to gain access. These so-called "white hats" will spend days or weeks searching company systems to come up with recommendations for fortifying corporations against such threats.— Greg Wiles — compare black hat

First Known Use of white hat

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for white hat

from the white hats stereotypically worn by law-abiding characters in movie westerns

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About white hat

Time Traveler for white hat

Time Traveler

The first known use of white hat was in 1965

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near white hat

white harvest

white hat

white hawk

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for white hat

Cite this Entry

“White hat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20hat. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


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!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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