hammer

1 of 2

noun

ham·​mer ˈha-mər How to pronounce hammer (audio)
1
a
: a hand tool consisting of a solid head set crosswise on a handle and used for pounding
b
: a power tool that often substitutes a metal block or a drill for the hammerhead
2
: something that resembles a hammer in form or action: such as
a
: a lever with a striking head for ringing a bell or striking a gong
b(1)
: an arm that strikes the cap in a percussion lock to ignite the propelling charge
(2)
: a part of the action of a modern gun that strikes the primer of the cartridge in firing or that strikes the firing pin to ignite the cartridge
c
d
: gavel
e(1)
: a padded mallet in a piano action for striking a string
(2)
: a hand mallet for playing on various percussion instruments (such as a xylophone)
3
: a metal sphere thrown for distance in the hammer throw
4

hammer

2 of 2

verb

hammered; hammering ˈha-mər-iŋ How to pronounce hammer (audio)
ˈham-riŋ

intransitive verb

1
: to strike blows especially repeatedly with or as if with a hammer : pound
2
: to make repeated efforts
especially : to reiterate an opinion or attitude
the lectures all hammered away at the same points

transitive verb

1
a
: to beat, drive, or shape with repeated blows of a hammer
b
: to fasten or build with a hammer
2
: to strike or drive with a force suggesting a hammer blow or repeated blows
hammered the ball over the fence
tried to hammer me into submission
3
: to criticize severely
hammerer noun
Phrases
under the hammer
: for sale at auction

Examples of hammer in a Sentence

Verb He hammered the dent out of the fender. The carpenters were hammering all afternoon. The workers are hammering the studs to the frame. The batter hammered the ball over the fence. Someone tried to hammer him over the head with a club. Many towns were hammered by the hurricane. The typist's fingers were hammering the keys. He was hammering at the door. The rain hammered down on the roof. The home team was hammered 9–0.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Obviously, her husband Paul less than two years ago was attacked inside their home in San Francisco by a crazed individual wielding a hammer and suffered serious injuries. ABC News, 14 July 2024 In 2000, women’s hammer made its debut in the Olympics. Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 6 July 2024
Verb
After Texas first baseman Nathaniel Lowe beat Jorge Mateo’s double-play throw by a step to extend the inning, Hill hammered an 85 mph cutter over the high wall in left to put the Rangers up 2-0. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 1 July 2024 Trump repeatedly hammered Biden’s handling of the U.S. southern border as well as his foreign policy stance. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for hammer 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hammer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English hamer, from Old English hamor; akin to Old High German hamar hammer, and perhaps to Old Church Slavonic kamen-, kamy stone, Greek akmē point, edge — more at edge

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hammer was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hammer

Cite this Entry

“Hammer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hammer. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

hammer

1 of 2 noun
ham·​mer ˈham-ər How to pronounce hammer (audio)
1
a
: a hand tool that consists of a solid head set crosswise on a handle and is used for pounding (as in driving nails)
b
: a power tool for pounding
2
: something that resembles a hammer in shape or action (as the part of a gun whose striking action causes explosion of the charge)
3
4
: a heavy metal ball with a flexible handle that is thrown for distance in a track-and-field contest

hammer

2 of 2 verb
hammered; hammering ˈham-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce hammer (audio)
1
: to strike blows with or as if with a hammer : pound
2
a
: to make repeated efforts
hammer away at one's lessons
b
: to emphasize (as an opinion) by repetition
hammers his point home
3
: to fasten, build, drive, or shape with a hammer
hammerer noun

Medical Definition

hammer

noun
ham·​mer ˈham-ər How to pronounce hammer (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on hammer

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