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a rack for drying food, as fish.
a rack for holding fodder for livestock.
a low pile of unburnt bricks in the course of drying.
to place (something) on a hack, as for drying or feeding.
Falconry. to train (a young hawk) by letting it fly freely and feeding it at a or a .
at hack, Falconry. (of a young hawk) being trained to fly freely but to return to a hack house or hack board for food rather than to pursue quarry.
when intr, usually foll by at or away. to cut or chop (at) irregularly, roughly, or violently
to cut and clear (a way, path, etc), as through undergrowth
(in sport, esp rugby) to foul (an opposing player) by kicking or striking his shins
(basketball) to commit the foul of striking (an opposing player) on the arm
(intransitive) to cough in short dry spasmodic bursts
(transitive) to reduce or cut (a story, article, etc) in a damaging way
to manipulate a computer program skilfully, esp, to gain unauthorized access to another computer system
(transitive) (slang) to tolerate; cope with: I joined the army but I couldn’t hack it
hack to bits, to damage severely: his reputation was hacked to bits
a cut, chop, notch, or gash, esp as made by a knife or axe
any tool used for shallow digging, such as a mattock or pick
a chopping blow
a dry spasmodic cough
a kick on the shins, as in rugby
a wound from a sharp kick
a horse kept for riding or (more rarely) for driving
an old, ill-bred, or overworked horse
a horse kept for hire
(Brit) a country ride on horseback
a drudge
a person who produces mediocre literary or journalistic work
(US) Also called hackney. a coach or carriage that is for hire
(US, informal) Also called hackie

a cab driver
a taxi

(Brit) to ride (a horse) cross-country for pleasure
(transitive) to let (a horse) out for hire
(transitive) (informal) to write (an article) as or in the manner of a hack
(intransitive) (US, informal) to drive a taxi
(prenominal) banal, mediocre, or unoriginal: hack writing
a rack used for fodder for livestock
a board on which meat is placed for a hawk
a pile or row of unfired bricks stacked to dry
verb (transitive)
to place (fodder) in a hack
to place (bricks) in a hack

“to cut roughly, cut with chopping blows,” c.1200, from verb found in stem of Old English tohaccian “hack to pieces,” from West Germanic *hakkon (cf. Old Frisian hackia “to chop or hack,” Dutch hakken, Old High German hacchon, German hacken), from PIE *keg- “hook, tooth.” Perhaps influenced by Old Norse höggva “to hack, hew” (cf. hacksaw). Slang sense of “cope with” (such as in can’t hack it) is first recorded in American English 1955, with a sense of “get through by some effort,” as a jungle (cf. phrase hack after “keep working away at” attested from late 14c.). Related: Hacked; hacking.

“illegally enter a computer system,” by 1984; apparently a back-formation from hacker. Related: Hacked; hacking. Earlier verb senses were “to make commonplace” (1745), “make common by everyday use” (1590s), “use (a horse) for ordinary riding” (1560s), all from hack (n.2).

“to cough with a short, dry cough,” 1802, perhaps from hack (v.1) on the notion of being done with difficulty, or else imitative.

“tool for chopping,” early 14c., from hack (v.1); cf. Danish hakke “mattock,” German Hacke “pickax, hatchet, hoe.” Meaning “an act of cutting” is from 1836; figurative sense of “a try, an attempt” is first attested 1898.

“person hired to do routine work,” c.1700, ultimately short for hackney “an ordinary horse” (c.1300), probably from place name Hackney, Middlesex (q.v.). Apparently nags were raised on the pastureland there in early medieval times. Extended sense of “horse for hire” (late 14c.) led naturally to “broken-down nag,” and also “prostitute” (1570s) and “drudge” (1540s). Sense of “carriage for hire” (1704) led to modern slang for “taxicab.” As an adjective, 1734, from the noun. Hack writer is first recorded 1826, though hackney writer is at least 50 years earlier. Hack-work is recorded from 1851.


A taxicab (1704+)
A bus (1950s+ Bus drivers)


To drive a taxi or bus: I worked in an office for years. Then I took to ”hacking” (1931+)

[ultimately fr hackney, ”horse,” fr Hackney, a village incorporated into London, fr Old English ”Haca’s island” or ”hook island”; presumably the horses were associated with the place]


A persistent, often nervous, cough: oughta see someone about that hack (1885+)
A try; attempt; whack: Let George take a hack at it (1836+)
A mediocre performer or worker; tiresome drudge: They are not the hacks that Eric’s scholarship would make them (1700+)
(also hack writer) A professional, usually freelance, writer who works to order •This sense belongs to hack reflecting the notion that such a writer was for hire like a horse, but its own derivatives blend with those of the meaning ”try, stroke, etc” (1810+)
A computer program, esp a good one: A well-crafted program, a good hack, is elegant (1980s+ Computer)
A guard: The guards, the hacks, as they called them/ The hacks didn’t worry about the old convicts too much (1940s+ Prison)
A white person; honky, ofay (1940s+ Black & prison)


: If you quit smoking maybe you won’t hack like that
To cope with, esp successfully; manage; handle •Most often in the negative: ”I can’t hack this,” Sandy remarked/ I couldn’t hack the lines, so I used Mother Nature’s privy (1940s+)
(also hack at) To attempt; do persistently but mediocrely: Do I play tennis? Well, I hack at it (1940s+)
: They hacked for some of our most respected leaders (1813+)
To work with a computer or computer program, esp to do so cleverly, persistently, and enthusiastically •This term has many specialized senses in computer slang (1980s+)
To annoy; anger; burn: That attitude really hacks me (1892+)

[nearly all senses ultimately fr hack, ”cut, chop”; black and prison senses fr identification of prison guards with white persons in the pattern identical with that of the man; prison guards perhaps so called because they sometimes beat prisoners]


To gain unauthorized access to a computer system: hack into my site (1985+)


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