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,
(informal) a boxer who has a hard punch rather than skill or finesse
a person who hits something
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
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.
hit man (1970+)
cream-puff hitter, no-hitter, switch-hitter
: a hit musical/ a hit song
banjo hit, make a hit, pinch hit, smash
- Hit the bullseye
verb phrase hit the nail on the head (1940s+)
- Hit the canvas
verb phrase To be knocked down in a fight (entry form 1922+, variant 1919+)
- Hit the dirt
- Hit the dixie highway
verb phrase To be dismissed from a team: Five major league managers have already been told to hit the Dixie Highway this season [1960s+ Baseball; the Dixie Highway is US Route 1, going south; when the term was first used, the only teams in the South were minor league]