1. A thin crisp wafer or biscuit, usually made of unsweetened dough.
2. One that cracks, especially:
a. A firecracker.
b. A small cardboard cylinder covered with decorative paper that holds candy or a party favor and pops when a paper strip is pulled at one or both ends and torn.
c. The apparatus used in the cracking of petroleum.
d. One who gains unauthorized access to a computer or computer network, usually for a malicious purpose such as to steal information or damage programs. See Usage Note at hacker.
3. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a white person, especially one who is poor and from the southeast United States.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.