Definition of hit verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//hɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hɪt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hit
    BrE BrE//hɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hɪt//
    he / she / it hits
    BrE BrE//hɪts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hɪts//
    past simple hit
    BrE BrE//hɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hɪt//
    past participle hit
    BrE BrE//hɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hɪt//
    -ing form hitting
    BrE BrE//ˈhɪtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɪtɪŋ//
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    touch somebody/something with force
  1. 1  [transitive] to bring your hand, or an object you are holding, against somebody/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/somebody with force, especially causing damage or injury The bus hit the bridge. I was hit by a falling stone. Synonymshitknock 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 somebody/​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 somebody/​something hard:The ship struck a rock.bump to hit somebody/​something accidentally:In the darkness I bumped into a chair.bash (informal) to hit against something very hard:I braked too late, bashing into the car in front.Patterns to hit/​knock/​bang/​bump/​bash against somebody/​something to knock/​bang/​bump/​bash into somebody/​something to hit/​strike the ground/​floor/​wall See related entries: Injuries
  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 somebody/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 somebody/something We hit the enemy when they least expected it.
  12. reach
  13. 9[transitive] hit something (informal) 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 40° yesterday. The euro hit a record low in trading today. (British English) We hit top form(= played our best) in yesterday’s match.
  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. Word Originlate Old English hittan (in the sense ‘come upon, find’), from Old Norse hitta ‘come upon, meet with’, of unknown origin.Extra examples A taxi almost hit him as he was crossing the street. He had managed to hit his sales target this month. He hit her with a stick. He was hit directly in the back. He was hit over the head with a broken bottle. I accidentally hit my knee on the desk. I hit my head on the low doorway. I just hit out wildly in all directions. I was afraid he was going to hit me. I was so angry, I wanted to hit him. Our department has been badly hit by the cutbacks. She didn’t hit me very hard. She hit him in the face. Some businesses have been hit very hard by the rise in interest rates. Temperatures are expected to hit 30°C tomorrow. That’s when it really hit me that we were in deep trouble. A tornado hit on Saturday night. Airlines were badly hit by the recession. As she stood up, she hit her hand against the edge of the table. By the time we hit the city centre, everything was closed. He fell, hitting his head on the hard stone floor. His death didn’t really hit me at first. I felt like hitting him. I picked up a pan and hit him over the head with it. It hit him very hard when Rosie left. It’ll be two hours before we hit the border. She threw a plate at him and narrowly missed hitting him. She was hit by a falling stone. The boat hit against an object under the surface of the water. The boy was hit by a speeding car. The grenade will explode as soon as it hits the ground. The plans could be hit by spending cuts. Their teachers used to hit them with a stick. They were making good progress when they hit a wide fast-flowing river. Traffic was heavy when they hit the main road. We’ve hit our ball over the fence! I couldn’t remember where I’d seen him before, and then it suddenly hit me.Idioms
    get into your stride (British English) (North American English hit (your) stride)
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    to begin to do something with confidence and at a good speed after a slow, uncertain start After a nervous start, he finally got into his stride in the second set.
    grab/hit/make the headlines
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    to be an important item of news in newspapers or on the radio or television
    (informal) to be very successful The band has hit big in the US. (informal) if a plan, somebody’s career, etc. hits the buffers, it suddenly stops being successful The former tennis star’s comeback trail hit the buffers yesterday when she lost in straight sets. (informal) to suddenly become very angry See related entries: Anger (informal) to fall to the ground
    hit/knock somebody for six
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    (British English) to affect somebody very deeply The business over the lawsuit had really knocked her for six.
    (informal) to start doing something and continue very quickly and successfully (informal) to go to bed if a remark, etc. hits/strikes home, it has a strong effect on somebody, in a way that makes them realize what the true facts of a situation are Her face went pale as his words hit home.
    hit somebody (straight/right) in the eye
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    to be very obvious to somebody
    (informal) used to tell somebody to start doing something, such as playing music Hit it, Louis!
    hit it off (with somebody)
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    (informal) to have a good friendly relationship with somebody We hit it off straight away. See related entries: Friends
    to make or win a lot of money quickly and unexpectedly to succeed/fail in achieving or guessing something He blushed furiously and Robyn knew she had hit the mark.
    hit the nail on the head
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    to say something that is exactly right
    hit/touch a (raw/sensitive) nerve
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    to mention a subject that makes somebody feel angry, upset, embarrassed, etc. You touched a raw nerve when you mentioned his first wife. See related entries: Embarrassment
    (informal) to suddenly be in a successful situation, especially one that makes you rich The band really hit pay dirt with their last album.
    hit/strike the right/wrong note
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    (especially British English) to do, say or write something that is suitable/not suitable for a particular occasion It is a bizarre tale and the author hits just the right note of horror and disbelief.
    (informal) to start a journey/trip = go through the roof (2) (informal) if something hits the spot it does exactly what it should do
    hit the streets, hit the shops/stores
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    (informal) to become widely available for sale The new magazine hits the streets tomorrow.
    to reach a point when you cannot continue or make any more progress We hit a wall and we weren't scoring. I’ve hit a wall with my marathon training. What do you do when you hit the wall at work?
    hit somebody when they’re down
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    to continue to hurt somebody when they are already defeated
    hit somebody where it hurts
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    to affect somebody where they will feel it most
    (informal) to be so surprised by something that you do not know how to react
    when the shit hits the fan
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    when somebody in authority finds out about something bad or wrong that somebody has done When the shit hits the fan, I don't want to be here.
    Phrasal Verbshit backhit on somebodyhit on somethinghit outhit somebody up for somethinghit somebody with something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hit