verb (used with object), hit, hitting.
to deal a blow or stroke to:
Hit the nail with the hammer.
to come against with an impact or collision, as a missile, a flying fragment, a falling body, or the like:
The car hit the tree.
to reach with a missile, a weapon, a blow, or the like, as one throwing, shooting, or striking:
Did the bullet hit him?
to succeed in striking:
With his final shot he hit the mark.
to drive or propel by a stroke:
to hit a ball onto the green.
to have a marked effect or influence on; affect severely:
We were all hit by the change in management.
to assail effectively and sharply (often followed by out):
The speech hits out at warmongering.
to request or demand of:
He hit me for a loan.
to reach or attain (a specified level or amount):
Prices are expected to hit a new low. The new train can hit 100 mph.
to be published in or released to; appear in:
When will this report hit the papers? What will happen when the story hits the front page?
to land on or arrive in:
The troops hit the beach at 0800. When does Harry hit town?
to give (someone) another playing card, drink, portion, etc.:
If the dealer hits me with an ace, I’ll win the hand. Bartender, hit me again.
to come or light upon; meet with; find:
to hit the right road.
to agree with; suit exactly:
I’m sure this purple shirt will hit Alfred’s fancy.
to solve or guess correctly; come upon the right answer or solution:
You’ve hit it!
to succeed in representing or producing exactly:
to hit a likeness in a portrait.
Informal. to begin to travel on:
Let’s hit the road. What time shall we hit the trail?
verb (used without object), hit, hitting.
to strike with a missile, a weapon, or the like; deal a blow or blows:
The armies hit at dawn.
to come into collision (often followed by against, on, or upon):
The door hit against the wall.
Slang. to kill; murder.
(of an internal-combustion engine) to ignite a mixture of air and fuel as intended:
This jalopy is hitting on all cylinders.
to come or light (usually followed by upon or on):
to hit on a new way.
an impact or collision, as of one thing against another.
a stroke that reaches an object; blow.
a stroke of satire, censure, etc.:
a hit at complacency.
a successful stroke, performance, or production; success:
The play is a hit.
Slang. a dose of a narcotic drug.
Slang. a killing, murder, or assassination, especially one carried out by criminal prearrangements.
hit on, Slang. to make persistent sexual advances to:
guys who hit on girls at social events.
hit up, Slang.
hit it off, Informal. to be congenial or compatible; get along; agree:
We hit it off immediately with the new neighbors. She and her brother had never really hit it off.
hit or miss, without concern for correctness or detail; haphazardly:
The paint job had been done hit or miss.
hit the books, Slang. to study hard; cram.
hit the bottle, Slang. 1 (def 8).
hit the high spots,
a rounded mark or stain made by foreign matter, as mud, blood, paint, ink, etc.; a blot or speck.
something that mars one’s character or reputation; blemish; flaw.
a small blemish, mole, or lesion on the skin or other surface.
a small, circumscribed mark caused by disease, allergic reaction, decay, etc.
a comparatively small, usually roundish, part of a surface differing from the rest in color, texture, character, etc.:
a bald spot.
a place or locality:
A monument marks the spot where Washington slept.
Usually, spots. places of entertainment or sightseeing interest:
We went to a few spots to dance and see the floor shows.
a specific position in a sequence or hierarchy:
The choral group has the second spot on the program, right after the dancers. He moved up from second spot to become president of the firm.
a pip, as on dice or dominoes.
Slang. a piece of paper money, almost always indicated as a five- or ten-dollar bill:
Can you loan me a five spot until payday?
Also called spot illustration. a small drawing, usually black and white, appearing within or accompanying a text.
Chiefly British Informal.
a small croaker, Leiostomus xanthurus, of the eastern coast of the U.S., used as a food fish.
spots, Informal. commodities, as grain, wool, and soybeans, sold for immediate delivery.
Informal. (def 1).
verb (used with object), spotted, spotting.
to stain or mark with spots:
The grease spotted my dress.
to remove a spot or spots from (clothing), especially before dry cleaning.
to sully; blemish.
to mark or diversify with spots or dots, as of color:
We spotted the wall with blue paint.
to detect or recognize; locate or identify by seeing:
to spot a hiding child.
to place or position on a particular place:
to spot a billiard ball.
to stop (a railroad car) at the exact place required.
to scatter in various places:
to spot chairs here and there in the room.
Informal. (def 5).
Photography. to remove spots from (a negative or print) by covering with opaque color.
Sports. to give or grant a certain margin or advantage to (an opponent):
He spotted the tyro 12 points a game. The champion won, although spotting the challenger twenty pounds.
(in gymnastics) to watch or assist (a performer) in order to prevent injury.
Slang. to lend:
Can you spot me twenty for tonight’s game?
verb (used without object), spotted, spotting.
to make a spot; cause a stain:
Ink spots badly.
to become , as some fabrics when spattered with water.
Military. to serve or act as a .
made, paid, delivered, etc., at once:
a spot sale; spot goods.
hit the high spots, Informal. to deal with or include only the major points of interest:
With but a limited amount of vacation time, he concentrated on hitting the high spots of Europe.
hit the spot, Informal. to satisfy a want or need, as to quench thirst:
Iced tea hits the spot during the hot summer months.
in a (bad) spot, in an uncomfortable or dangerous predicament:
The tourists found themselves in a bad spot after they lost their money in Las Vegas.
knock spots off, British Slang. to outdo easily; beat.
on the spot,
verb (mainly transitive) hits, hitting, hit
(also intransitive) to deal (a blow or stroke) to (a person or thing); strike: the man hit the child
to come into violent contact with: the car hit the tree
to reach or strike with a missile, thrown object, etc: to hit a target
to make or cause to make forceful contact; knock or bump: I hit my arm on the table
to propel or cause to move by striking: to hit a ball
(cricket) to score (runs)
to affect (a person, place, or thing) suddenly or adversely: his illness hit his wife very hard
to become suddenly apparent to (a person): the reason for his behaviour hit me and made the whole episode clear
to achieve or reach: to hit the jackpot, unemployment hit a new high
to experience or encounter: I’ve hit a slight snag here
(slang) to murder (a rival criminal) in fulfilment of an underworld contract or vendetta
to accord or suit (esp in the phrase hit one’s fancy)
to guess correctly or find out by accident: you have hit the answer
(informal) to set out on (a road, path, etc): let’s hit the road
(informal) to arrive or appear in: he will hit town tomorrow night
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) to demand or request from: he hit me for a pound
(slang) to drink an excessive amount of (alcohol): to hit the bottle
(music, slang) hit it, start playing
(US, slang) hit skins, to have sexual intercourse
(slang) hit the sack, hit the hay, to go to bed
not know what has hit one, to be completely taken by surprise
an impact or collision
a shot, blow, etc, that reaches its object
an apt, witty, or telling remark
(informal) a stroke of luck
(slang) a drag on a cigarette, a swig from a bottle, a line of a drug, or an injection of heroin
(computing) a single visit to a website
(informal) make a hit with, score a hit with, to make a favourable impression on
a small mark on a surface, such as a circular patch or stain, differing in colour or texture from its surroundings
a geographical area that is restricted in extent: a beauty spot
a location: this is the exact spot on which he died
a blemish of the skin, esp a pimple or one occurring through some disease
a blemish on the character of a person; moral flaw
(informal) a place of entertainment: we hit all the night spots
(informal, mainly Brit) a small quantity or amount: a spot of lunch
(informal) an awkward situation: that puts me in a bit of a spot
a short period between regular television or radio programmes that is used for advertising
a position or length of time in a show assigned to a specific performer
short for spotlight
(billiards, snooker) one of several small black dots on a table that mark where a ball is to be placed
(used mainly in negative constructions) change one’s spots, to reform one’s character
high spot, an outstanding event: the high spot of the holiday was the visit to the winery
knock spots off, to outstrip or outdo with ease
on the spot
soft spot, a special sympathetic affection or weakness for a person or thing
tight spot, a serious, difficult, or dangerous situation
verb spots, spotting, spotted
(transitive) to observe or perceive suddenly, esp under difficult circumstances; discern
to put stains or spots upon (something)
(intransitive) (of some fabrics) to be susceptible to spotting by or as if by water: silk spots easily
(transitive) to place here and there: they spotted observers along the border
to look out for and note (trains, talent, etc)
(intransitive) to rain slightly; spit
(transitive) (billiards) to place (a ball) on one of the spots
(military) to adjust fire in order to correct deviations from (the target) by observation
(transitive) (US, informal) to yield (an advantage or concession) to (one’s opponent): to spot someone a piece in chess
late Old English hyttan, hittan “come upon, meet with, fall in with, ‘hit’ upon,” from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse hitta “to light upon, meet with,” also “to hit, strike;” Swedish hitta “to find,” Danish and Norwegian hitte “to hit, find,” from Proto-Germanic *hitjanan. Related: Hitting. Meaning shifted in late Old English period to “strike,” via “to reach with a blow or missile,” and replaced Old English slean in this sense. Original sense survives in phrases such as hit it off (1780, earlier in same sense hit it, 1630s) and is revived in hit on (1970s).
Underworld slang meaning “to kill by plan” is 1955 (as a noun in this sense from 1970). To hit the bottle “drink alcohol” is from 1889. To hit the nail on the head (1570s) is from archery. Hit the road “leave” is from 1873; to hit (someone) up “request something” is from 1917. Hit and run is 1899 as a baseball play, 1924 as a driver failing to stop at a crash he caused. To not know what hit (one) is from 1923.
late 15c., “a rebuke;” 1590s as “a blow,” from hit (v.). Meaning “successful play, song, person,” etc., 1811, is from the verbal sense of “to hit the mark, succeed” (c.1400). Underworld slang meaning “a killing” is from 1970. Meaning “dose of narcotic” is 1951, from phrases such as hit the bottle.
c.1200, “moral stain,” probably from Old English splott “a spot, blot, patch (of land)” infl. by Middle Dutch spotte “spot, speck.” Other cognates are East Frisian spot “speck,” North Frisian spot “speck, piece of ground,” Old Norse spotti “small piece.” It is likely that some of these are borrowed, but the exact evolution now is impossible to trace.
Meaning “speck, stain” is from mid-14c. The sense of “particular place” is from c.1300. Meaning “short interval in a broadcast for an advertisement or announcement” is from 1923. Proceeded by a number (e.g. five-spot) it originally was a term for “prison sentence” of that many years (1901, American English slang). To put (someone) on the spot “place in a difficult situation” is from 1928. Colloquial phrase to hit the spot “satisfy, be what is required” is from 1868. Spot check first attested 1933. Spot on “completely, accurately” is attested from 1920.
early 15c., “to stain, sully, tarnish” from spot (n.). Sense of “to stain with spots” is attested from mid-15c. Meaning “to see and recognize,” is from 1718, originally colloquial and applied to a criminal or suspected person; the general sense is from 1860. Related: Spotted; spotting.
v. spot·ted, spot·ting, spots
To lose a slight amount of blood through the vagina.
deuce spot, five-spot, hit the spot, hot spot, johnny-on-the-spot, nightspot, on the spot, put someone on the spot, sweet spot, two-spot, x marks the spot
[found by 1718 in the second verb sense as ”identify as a wrongdoer”]
: a hit musical/ a hit song
banjo hit, make a hit, pinch hit, smash
satellite positioning and tracking
- Hit it
verb phrase To begin playing music; attack (1930s+ Jazz musicians)
- Hit it big
verb phrase To succeed splendidly: Pitchers who hit it big as soon as they escaped from the Trappers’ pocket-sized park (1940s+) Score a major success, especially a profit, as in Some investors hit it big in the stock market. The adverb big here means “with great success.” [ ; late 1800s ]
- Hit it a lick
verb phrase To hit something very hard (1940s+)
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