hack

To hack is to cut or chop something with short strong blows, like if you hack your way through a thick jungle with a machete. To hack is also to illegally break into someone’s computer.

The Old English root word is haccian, which means “to cut into pieces,” but hack also means to cough frequently. A tickle in your throat can make you hack. If you call someone a hack, you mean they’re not great at what they do — especially writing. A mediocre writer is called a hack. Once upon a time hack was short for “an ordinary horse,” and now it’s an insult for writers. No one wants to be a hack!

Primary Meanings of hack

1.
vn
cut away
a tool (as a hoe or pick or mattock) used for breaking up the surface of the soil
2.
v
fix a computer program piecemeal until it works
3.
v
significantly cut up a manuscript
4.
v
cough spasmodically
5.
v
be able to manage or manage successfully
6.
v
kick on the shins
7.
n
one who works hard at boring tasks
8.
n
a car driven by a person whose job is to take passengers where they want to go in exchange for money
Full Definitions of hack
1

v cut away

“he hacked his way through the forest”
Type of:
cut
separate with or as if with an instrument

v cut with a hacking tool

Synonyms:
chop
Types:
ax, axe
chop or split with an ax
Type of:
cut
separate with or as if with an instrument

n a tool (as a hoe or pick or mattock) used for breaking up the surface of the soil

Type of:
tool
an implement used in the practice of a vocation
2

v fix a computer program piecemeal until it works

“I'm not very good at hacking but I'll give it my best”
Synonyms:
hack on
Type of:
program, programme
write a computer program
3

v significantly cut up a manuscript

Synonyms:
cut up
Type of:
edit, redact
prepare for publication or presentation by correcting, revising, or adapting
4

v cough spasmodically

“The patient with emphysema is hacking all day”
Synonyms:
whoop
Type of:
cough
exhale abruptly, as when one has a chest cold or congestion
5

v be able to manage or manage successfully

“I can't hack it anymore”
Synonyms:
cut
Type of:
contend, cope, deal, get by, grapple, make do, make out, manage
come to terms with
6

v kick on the shins

Type of:
foul
commit a foul; break the rules

v kick on the arms

Type of:
foul
commit a foul; break the rules
7

n one who works hard at boring tasks

Synonyms:
drudge, hacker
Types:
plodder, slogger
someone who works slowly and monotonously for long hours
Type of:
unskilled person
a person who lacks technical training

n a politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends

Synonyms:
machine politician, political hack, ward-heeler
Type of:
pol, political leader, politician, politico
a person active in party politics

n a mediocre and disdained writer

Synonyms:
hack writer, literary hack
Type of:
author, writer
writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)
8

n a car driven by a person whose job is to take passengers where they want to go in exchange for money

Synonyms:
cab, taxi, taxicab
Types:
gypsy cab
a taxicab that cruises for customers although it is licensed only to respond to calls
minicab
a minicar used as a taxicab
Type of:
auto, automobile, car, machine, motorcar
a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine

n a horse kept for hire

Type of:
Equus caballus, horse
solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times

n a saddle horse used for transportation rather than sport etc.

Type of:
mount, riding horse, saddle horse
a lightweight horse kept for riding only

n an old or over-worked horse

Synonyms:
jade, nag, plug
Type of:
Equus caballus, horse
solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times

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