hack(redirected from hacks)
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can't hack it
slang Cannot complete or tolerate a task or situation. All that job taught me is that I can't hack it as a salesman. I go to Florida every winter because I just can't hack it in the cold, and I'd rather not be miserable for months.
hack (one's) way through (something)
To proceed through something, typically some sort of overgrown vegetation, by cutting it out of one's way. Good luck hacking your way through the dense growth on that path.
hack (something) out of (something)
1. To cut something off of or away from something else. Can you hack the burnt pieces out of the roast?
2. To create something by chopping or cutting away at something else. I'm impressed with how our neighbors hacked a shape out of a tree stump on their front lawn.
hack (something) to bits
To alter something significantly by removing pieces of it, often in a clumsy or aggressive manner. Can be used literally or figuratively. Quit hacking the roast to bits and just let Dad cut it, will you? I thought I'd written a strong proposal—until my boss hacked it to bits, that is.
hack (something) to pieces
To alter something significantly by removing pieces of it, often in a clumsy or aggressive manner. Can be used literally or figuratively. Quit hacking the roast to pieces and just let Dad cut it, will you? I thought I'd written a strong proposal—until my boss hacked it to pieces, that is.
hack (something) to smithereens
To alter something significantly by removing pieces of it, often in a clumsy or aggressive manner. Can be used literally or figuratively. ("Smithereens," meaning "bits," comes from Irish Gaelic.) Quit hacking the roast to smithereens and just let Dad cut it, will you? I thought I'd written a strong proposal—until my boss hacked it to smithereens, that is.
1. To cut something into pieces with clumsy strokes or whacks. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "apart." Quit hacking apart the roast and just let Dad cut it, will you?
2. To criticize or reproach someone or something in a severe and merciless manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "apart." The reviews absolutely hacked apart the sequel, but I don't think it was that bad. I heard the boss hacking Jack apart for his handling of the Jefferson account.
slang To behave foolishly or idly waste time. The employees were hacking around the office until the boss showed up. Quit hacking around and pay attention in class!
hack at (something)
To cut away at something and remove pieces of it, often with clumsy strokes or whacks. Quit hacking at the roast and just let Dad cut it, will you?
To cut away at something and remove pieces of it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "away." Who is going to hack away pieces of turkey this Thanksgiving? Hack these weeds away so we can plant in the garden.
hack away at (something)
1. To cut away at something and remove pieces of it, often with clumsy strokes or whacks. Quit hacking away at the roast and just let Dad cut it, will you?
2. To persistently work on some task, completing it in increments over time. Try not to get too overwhelmed and just hack away at the chores on your list.
To remove something, typically a tree, by cutting it down. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "down." The landscaper came and hacked down the tree that was leaning precariously over our roof.
slang To complete or tolerate a task or situation. Usually used in the negative. All that job taught me is that I can't hack it as a salesman. I go to Florida every winter because I just can't hack it in the cold, and I'd rather not be miserable for months.
1. To cut something off, often with clumsy strokes or stabs. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "off." That's it—I'm going out and hacking off the part of the bush that's blocking the driveway!
2. To irritate or annoy someone. Primarily heard in the UK. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "off." He keeps undermining me to the boss, and it's really hacking me off.
1. To cut something off of or away from something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "out." Can you hack out the burnt pieces of the roast?
2. To create something by chopping or cutting away at something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "out." I'm impressed with how our neighbors hacked a shape out of a tree stump on their front lawn.
3. slang To make, create, or produce something quickly and perfunctorily. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "out." How many of these stupid articles do I have to hack out before someone at the magazine takes my work seriously?
1. To cut something into pieces, often in a clumsy or sloppy manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "up." We need to hack up these big branches.
2. To wreck, mar, or otherwise spoil something's appearance, usually by cutting. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "up." I'll never use that landscaper again, not with the way he hacked up my poor bushes!
3. To expel something by coughing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "up." Gross, my cat just hacked up another hairball.
1. slang Having been accessed, and, usually, exploited, by an unauthorized person. The phrase is commonly applied to things like computer systems, financial accounts, and social media accounts, especially those from which personal data and/or money has been stolen. I really hope these strange charges on my bank statement don't mean that my account has been hacked. I bet that's some sort of scam to hack our Facebook accounts.
2. slang Irritated or annoyed. I'm really hacked about his constant attempts to undermine me to the boss.
slang Irritated or annoyed. I'm really hacked off about his constant attempts to undermine me to the boss.
A simple, resourceful, and often novel action that makes one's life easier or alleviates a problem or challenge. Painting my keys with different colors of nail polish was a great life hack—it's the only way I can tell my office key from my house key! A lot of what millennials call life hacks are actually just common sense.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
can't hack it
unable to do the job. I thought delivering papers would be an easy job, but I just can't hack it. If you can't hack it, let me know, and I'll help you out.
Inf. to waste time. I'm just hacking around and doing nothing. Stop hacking around and get to work.
hack (away) at someone or something
to chop at someone or something continuously. The brutal murderer hacked away at his victim. The woodchopper hacked at the tree and finally got it down.
hack one's way through something
Fig. to cut one's way through something. We had to hack our way through the jungle. The surveyors hacked a pathway through the undergrowth.
hack someone (off)
Inf. to annoy someone; to embarrass someone. It really hacks me when you drum your fingers like that. You really hack me off!
hack someone or something apart
1. Lit. to chop up someone or something. The murderer hacked the victim apart. He hacked apart the victim. The butcher hacked the chicken apart.
2. Fig. to criticize someone or something severely. The review just hacked him apart for his poor showing in the play. The critic hacked apart all the actors in the play.
Inf. to endure something; to deal with something. (The something is usually it.) I don't know if I can hack it. John works very hard, but he can't seem to hack it.
hack something down
to chop something down. Who hacked this cherry tree down? Who hacked down this cherry tree?
hack something off
to chop something off. I need to get up that tree and hack that big branch off before it bangs on the house. Please hack off that big branch.
hack something out of somethingand hack something out
1. to cut or chop something out of something. Jill hacked the bone out of the roast. She hacked out the big bone.
2. to fashion something by carving or chiseling from something. He hacked a rabbit out of the chunk of wood. In no time, the carver had hacked out a rabbit.
hack something to something
to cut something up into something roughly or crudely, such as pieces, bits, smithereens. The editor hacked my story to smithereens. Don't hack the turkey to pieces!
hack something up
1. Lit. to chop something up into pieces. (Refers often to wood.) Hack all this old furniture up, and we'll burn it in the fireplace. Hack up this stuff, and we'll burn it.
2. Fig. to damage or mangle something. Who hacked my windowsill up? Who hacked up my table?
Inf. angry; annoyed. Wally was really hacked off about the accident. Oh, Wally is always hacked about something.
can't hack itINFORMAL
If someone can't hack it in a particular situation or job, they do not have the skills or qualities necessary to cope with it. You have to be strong and confident and never give the slightest impression that you can't hack it. Note: Sometimes people say that someone can hack it, to mean that they can cope in a particular situation or job. Smith tried to convince them that he can hack it as a police chief.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
hack itmanage; cope (usually used in the negative). informal
2001 Irish Examiner Bank robber John Carr said he couldn't hack it on the outside. The freedom was doing his head in and he wanted to go back to the surrounds of his cell.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To remove something with blows from a sharp instrument: The lumberjack hacked away the larger limbs from the tree before felling it. The gardener used a large pair of shears to hack the dead twigs away.
2. hack away at To reduce or attempt to reduce something in size by chopping off pieces of it: The butcher hacked away at the side of beef to remove the fat.
3. hack away at To reduce something gradually by working at it continuously: I'm hacking away at the pile of reports on my desk.
1. To cut something off, usually with rough or heavy blows: The gardener hacked off the branch with a machete. We hacked the old shingles off the side of the house.
2. Chiefly British To annoy someone: That attitude really hacks me off. The drunken celebrity really hacked off the entertainment reporter.
1. To remove something by chopping or cutting; excise something: The butcher hacked the bone out from the meat. We hacked out the broken shingles from the roof.
2. To fashion something by chopping, cutting, or chiseling: The artist hacked out a statue from a chunk of clay. Let's hack a sculpture out of the ice.
3. Slang To produce something hastily or routinely, such as written material: The reporter hacked out a weekly column. The author hacked three romance novels out every year.
1. To cut or chop something into pieces, usually with little care: The cook hacked up the potatoes and dumped them in the pot. We hacked the wood up and threw it in the fireplace.
2. To mangle or disfigure something, especially by cutting: That barber hacked up your hair badly! I accidentally hacked the shrubs up with the electric clippers.
3. To force something from the throat or lungs and out of the mouth by coughing: The patient hacked some phlegm up. My cat hacked up some blood, so I made an appointment with the vet.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. n. a taxi. Go out to the street and see if you can get a hack.
2. n. a cough. That’s a nasty hack you’ve got there.
3. n. a professional writer who writes mediocre material to order. This novel shows that even a hack can get something published
4. n. a reporter. Newspaper hacks have to know a little of everything.
5. tv. to write clumsy or inefficient computer programs. I can hack a program for you, but it won’t be what you want.
6. tv. to break into a computer electronically to steal data or corrupt it or for the challenge of breaking in. I’m gonna hack the bank’s computer because they bounced a check of mine.
7. tv. to annoy someone. (see also hacked (off).) That kind of behavior hacks her a lot.
8. n. anyone who does poor or undesirable work. Oh, he’s just a hack. What can you expect?
9. n. a prison guard. Watch out, man. The hacks are looking.
10. in. to play with hackysack. They spent all their spare time hacking.
in. to waste time. I wanted to hack around for a year after college, but my finances disagreed.
tv. to stand up to something; to endure something. I’m afraid you can’t hack it. It just isn’t working out.
mod. worn-out; ready to quit. What a day! I’m hacked.
mod. angry; annoyed. Willy was really hacked off about the accident.
See hacked off
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
hack it, to
To accomplish, to cope, to manage well. This slangy usage dates from the mid-1900s and often is put negatively. Thus, “Another celebration for his promotion? I just can’t hack it.” Also, “Head the group? I’m not too old to hack it.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer