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Related to hack: Life hack


1. a dry spasmodic cough
2. a kick on the shins, as in rugby


1. a horse kept for riding or (more rarely) for driving
2. an old, ill-bred, or overworked horse
3. a horse kept for hire
4. Brit a country ride on horseback
5. US a coach or carriage that is for hire
6. US informal
a. a cab driver
b. a taxi


a board on which meat is placed for a hawk


1. Originally, a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well.

2. An incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed.

3. To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this heat!"

4. To work on something (typically a program). In an immediate sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In a general (time-extended) sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." More generally, "I hack "foo"" is roughly equivalent to ""foo" is my major interest (or project)". "I hack solid-state physics." See Hacking X for Y.

5. To pull a prank on. See hacker.

6. To interact with a computer in a playful and exploratory rather than goal-directed way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking."

7. Short for hacker.

8. See nethack.

9. (MIT) To explore the basements, roof ledges, and steam tunnels of a large, institutional building, to the dismay of Physical Plant workers and (since this is usually performed at educational institutions) the Campus Police. This activity has been found to be eerily similar to playing adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Zork. See also vadding.

See also neat hack, real hack.


As a noun, a hack is the source code of a program. For example, the phrase "it must be done through a hack" means someone has to write programming code to solve the problem because there is no pre-written software that does the job.

As a verb, hack refers to writing a small program or adding code to an existing program to solve a problem in a hurry. A hack used to imply a low-level programming language, even deploying a fix in machine language (see patch). However, the term evolved, and today it can refer to code in any computer language. See machine language.

You're Not Supposed To!
A hack may refer to an enhancement made to an electronic device that was not designed to be user programmable, such as a video game, music player, TV set-top box or cellphone. For example, a digital media hub (media extender) could be modified to play additional formats.

This level of modification is done by the serious hacker, who first has to find a way to expose the software. It may require opening the case and using tools such as a screwdriver, wire strippers and soldering iron. For example, to make the first AT&T iPhones work in another network, an early hack required applying voltage to a line on its circuit board. It meant scraping the surface of a single wire trace without breaking the line and soldering a wire to it; a very delicate operation. Subsequent methods used to unlock iPhones were less extreme.

"Hacked" Means a Harmful Hack
"Getting hacked" has another connotation. Although the original meaning of hack is program code that was modified, the popular definition is an illegal modification that causes a computer or online account to be compromised. See attack, hacker and hackathon.

Geek Humor
From "The Best of The Joy of Tech" cartoon book by Nitrozac and Snaggy (O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2003, ISBN 0-596-00578-4). (Image courtesy of GeekCulture, www.geekculture.com)

Hacks Galore
The term is often used to refer to any tip or technique for improving performance or configuring hardware or software; witness these titles from O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Hack Everything!
"The Big Book of Hacks" offers imaginative hacks from turning an old netbook into a tablet to boosting Wi-Fi with a vegetable steamer. Also included are how to make fridge magnets from a hard drive and a dipole antenna from a closet hanger. See life hack.
References in periodicals archive ?
Edis said Mulcaire was paid about 100,000 pounds a year by the newspaper to hack the phones of celebrities, politicians and royals, and sometimes their friends and families.
For his part, Basel Okour, editor of Ammon News Network, which was hacked more than once, told The Star, AoSince it is hard to pinpoint the hackers, we can never be sure if it is intentional or not; but we can always predict that certain news or articles were the reason; we cannot however prove that; many hackers just seek the excitement; they consider themselves successful, especially if they hack a very important website.
Douglas Hack, 68, a web designer, rang his son to demand assurances that Lila was safe and being kept away from Doherty.
Another hack explains how to make a backup of the registry, just in case you do make a mistake.
This means that all students who tried to hack into the system can be identified.
The great irony is that the political equilibrium of the nation's capital depends on both wonks and hacks, but the two groups can't even communicate because the hack and wonk dialects have so few words in common.
An 18-attorney firm with additional offices in Manhattan, Hack, Piro, O'Day, Merklinger, Wallace & McKenna P.
But that virus--and the subsequent LoveLetter variant--was a low-level prank compared to the sophistication of the Microsoft hack which, while it probably began with the opening of an attachment, stole passwords and data over a long period, all the while avoiding detection.
The new type of hack raises new and interesting legal questions for the universities and other organizations whose unsecured computers are able to be cooped by the hackers.
Hack Reactor will work with qualified communities to devise risk sharing, scholarships and need-blind admissions systems to maximize the economic impact and opportunity for underrepresented communities and individuals.
21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomson Reuters EndNote, the leading software for researchers, librarians and students to find, publish and manage bibliographies, citations and references, today announced a collaboration with Science Hack Day, a global grassroots movement aimed at empowering scientific innovation, to bring the first Science Hack Day to Russia.
Rebekah Brooks, 46, Coulson's predecessor at News of the World, was found not guilty of conspiracy to hack voicemails, while her husband Charlie Brooks and News International's former head of security Mark Hanna were cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, according to the verdicts.