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a person who breaks into and/or illegally uses a telephone system
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


intr.v. phreaked, phreak·ing, phreaks Slang
To manipulate a telephone system illicitly to allow one to make calls without paying for them.

[Alteration of freak (influenced by phone).]

phreak′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In 1971, Esquire ran an article about Engressia, Draper and the whole phreaker scene.
Instead, the phone "phreaker" kept the line open and dialled without paying a penny.
Kevin Mitnick grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of California and started hacking in 1980 as a sixteen year old 'phone phreaker' - a telephone system hacker - before quickly graduating to computers.
2012 "Phreakers, Hackers, and Trolls and the Politics of Transgression and Spectacle." In The Social Media Reader, edited by Michael Mandiberg, 99-119.
(16) In those early days, the exploration and manipulation of telecommunication channels was not prompted by money, but rather a mere fascination with the virtual world in which phreakers could interact and explore the bounds of new communication technology.
Although the movie The 414s does not specifically touch on religion, it does illustrate the first step in the burgeoning world of hackers and phreakers (phone hackers) and the grey realm of the World Wide Web which offered utopian possibilities to them.
Wikipedia articles have been cited in judicial opinions for an explanation of how the social networking site MySpace works, (188) for the "tweaking" behavioral effect that certain drugs produce, (189) for the term "phreakers" which is slang for people who experiment with phone systems, (190) and to define the term "screenshot." (191)