American English

Definition of hit verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hit
    he / she / it hits
    past simple hit
    -ing form hitting
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    touch someone or something with force
  1. 1[transitive] to bring your hand, or an object you are holding, against someone or something quickly and with force hit somebody/something My parents never used to hit me. hit somebody/something with something He hit the nail squarely on the head with the hammer. She hit him on the head with her umbrella.
  2. 2[transitive] hit something/somebody to come against something or someone with force, especially causing damage or injury The bus hit the bridge. I was hit by a falling stone.
  3. 3[transitive] hit something (on/against something) to knock a part of your body against something He hit his head on the low ceiling.
  4. 4[transitive, often passive] hit somebody/something (of a bullet, bomb, etc. or a person using them) to reach and touch a person or thing suddenly and with force The town was hit by bombs again last night. He was hit by a sniper.
  5. ball
  6. 5[transitive] hit something (+ adv./prep.) to bring a bat, etc. against a ball and push it away with force She hit the ball too hard and it went out of the court. We've hit our ball over the fence!
  7. 6[transitive] hit something (sport) to score points by hitting a ball to hit a home run
  8. have bad effect
  9. 7[transitive, intransitive] hit (somebody/something) to have a bad effect on someone or something The tax increases will certainly hit the poor. His death didn't really hit me at first. Rural areas have been worst hit by the strike. Spain was one of the hardest hit countries. A tornado hit on Tuesday night.
  10. attack
  11. 8[transitive, intransitive] hit (somebody/something) to attack someone or something We hit the enemy when they least expected it.
  12. reach
  13. 9[transitive] hit something to reach a place Follow this footpath and you'll eventually hit the road. The President hits town tomorrow.
  14. 10[transitive] hit something to reach a particular level Temperatures hit 100° yesterday. The dollar hit a record low in trading today.
  15. problem/difficulty
  16. 11[transitive] hit something (informal) to experience something difficult or unpleasant We seem to have hit a problem. Everything was going well but then we hit trouble.
  17. suddenly realize
  18. 12[transitive] hit somebody (informal) to come suddenly into your mind I couldn't remember where I'd seen him before, and then it suddenly hit me.
  19. press button
  20. 13[transitive] hit something (informal) to press something such as a button to operate a machine, etc. Hit the brakes!
  21. Thesaurushitknock bang strike bump bashThese words all mean to come against something with a lot of force.hit to come against something with force, especially causing damage or injury:The boy was hit by a speeding car.knock to hit something so that it moves or breaks; to put someone or something into a particular state or position by hitting them/it:Someone had knocked a hole in the wall.bang to hit something in a way that makes a loud noise:The baby was banging the table with his spoon.strike (formal) to hit someone or something hard:The ship struck a rock.bump to hit someone or something accidentally:In the darkness I bumped into a chair.bash (informal) to hit against something very hard:I braked too late and bashed into the car in front of me.Patterns to knock/bang/bump/bash into somebody/something to knock/bang/bump/bash on something to hit/knock/bang/strike/bump/bash something with something to hit/strike the ground/floor/wallIdioms
    hit/press/push the panic button
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    to react in a sudden or extreme way to something unexpected that has frightened you The government pressed the panic button yesterday as the economy plunged deeper into crisis.
    Phrasal Verbshit back (at somebody/something)hit on somebodyhit on/upon somethinghit out (at somebody/something)hit somebody up for somethinghit somebody with something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: hit