See Hack (computer game) for the Hack computer game.
A Hack is a person lacking talent or ability (e.g. "hack writer"). It has also become jargon meaning either a kludge, or the opposite of a kludge -- a clever or elegant solution to a difficult problem. As a verb, it means creating or participating in a hack. The term word is commonly (but not exclusively) used in relation to computer programming; see hacker.
The context determines whether the complimentary or derogatory meanings is implied. Phrases such as "ugly hack" or "quick hack" generally refer to the latter meaning; phrases such as "cool hack" or "neat hack" refer to the former.
In MIT lingo, a "hack" is an elaborate and flamboyant student prank. Past MIT hacks include:
- Covering the university's signature "Great Dome" (which seems to be something of a magnet for hacks) with tin foil
- Putting a fake (but convincing) MIT Campus Police cruiser on the Dome
- Decorating the Dome as R2D2
- Hiding the university president's office by covering its entrance with a fake bulletin board
- Inflating a huge balloon on the playing field during a Harvard-Yale football game
For Palm OS users, a "hack" refers to an extension of the operating system which provides additional functionality.
A hack can also refer to the goal of the game hacky sack.
See also: cruftmanship, Wiktionary:hack