Word of the Day: hack

Word of the Day
May 9, 2016
hack (verb, noun)
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A woman hacking her way through vegetation.
You may know that hack means 'to gain unauthorized access to a computer system or data.' However, hack also means 'to chop or slice with rough and irregular blows' and also 'to clear a path by cutting branches and trees.' Figuratively, it can mean 'to cut severely.' Informally, it means 'to tolerate' and, in this sense, it is mostly used in the negative form. As a noun, a hack is a rough or irregular cut and also a mediocre and uninteresting writer or artist.


Example sentences
The woodcutter hacked down the tree.
The explorers hacked through the undergrowth in the forest.
Our department's budget has been hacked this year.
I can't hack my job anymore; I'm going to quit.
Tania took the axe and made a series of hacks in the log, but still didn't manage to split it.
That guy's nothing but a hack; his books are terrible!


Multi-word forms
hack it: cope or deal with things: "Miles dropped out of college; the classes were really difficult for him and he just couldn't hack it."
hack someone off: annoy. Example: "The way Susan keeps correcting my grammar really hacks me off!"
Did you know?
A hack can also be a horse kept for ordinary riding, especially one that is rented out. Because of this, hack also came to mean 'a tired-out old horse,' because often horses that were rented out were not well cared for. In UK English a hack is also a horse ride in the countryside.
Hack dates back to the second half of the 12th century and comes from the Middle English word hacken; it is a cognate with the Dutch word hakken and the German word hacken.
Hack in other languages
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