Etymology: Middle English hakken, from Old English -haccian; akin to Old High German hacchōn to hack, Old English hōc hook
Date: 13th century
a. to cut or sever with repeated irregular or unskillful blows
b. to cut or shape by or as if by crude or ruthless strokes <hacking out new election districts> c. annoy, vex — often used with off 2. to clear or make by or as if by cutting away vegetation <hacked his way through the brush> 3. a. to manage successfully <just couldn't hack the new job> b. tolerate <I can't hack all this noise> intransitive verb 1. a. to make chopping strokes or blows <hacked at the weeds>; also to make cuts as if by chopping <hacking away at the work force> b. to play inexpert golf 2. to cough in a short dry manner 3. loaf — usually used with around 4. a. to write computer programs for enjoyment b. to gain access to a computer illegally II. noun Date: 14th century 1. an implement for hacking 2. nick, notch 3. a short dry cough 4. a hacking stroke or blow 5. restriction to quarters as punishment for naval officers — usually used in the phrase under hack 6. a usually creative solution to a computer hardware or programming problem or limitation III. noun Etymology: short for hackney Date: 1672 1. a. hackney b. (1) taxicab (2) cabdriver 2. a. (1) a horse let out for common hire (2) a horse used in all kinds of work b. a horse worn out in service ; jade c. a light easy saddle horse; especially a three-gaited saddle horse d. a ride on a horse 3. a. a person who works solely for mercenary reasons ; hireling <party hacks> b. a writer who works on order; also a writer who aims solely for commercial success c. hacker 2 IV. adjective Date: circa 1734 1. working for hire especially with mediocre professional standards <a hack journalist> 2. performed by, suited to, or characteristic of a hack <hack writing> 3. hackneyed, trite V. verb Date: 1857 intransitive verb 1. to ride or drive at an ordinary pace or over the roads especially as distinguished from racing or hunting 2. to operate a taxicab transitive verb to ride (a horse) at an ordinary pace VI. transitive verb Etymology: hack, noun, board on which a hawk is fed, state of partial liberty, probably alteration of Middle English hache, heche, heck lower door, hatch Date: 1883 to rear (a young hawk) in a state of partial liberty especially prior to the acquisition of flight and hunting capabilities VII. noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: circa 1914 slang a guard especially at a prison
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.