\ˈhit \
hit; hitting

Definition of hit 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to reach with or as if with a sudden blow His mom told him to stop hitting his sister.

b : to come in quick forceful contact with the ball hit the window He was hit by a car. The tank was hit by enemy fire.

c : to strike (something, such as a ball) with an object (such as a bat, club, or racket) so as to impart or redirect motion hit a fastball into the outfield

2a : to cause to come into contact She accidentally hit her head getting into the car.

b : to deliver (something, such as a blow) by action

c : to apply forcefully or suddenly hit the brakes Will someone hit the lights?

3 : to affect especially detrimentally farmers hit by drought Many families were hit hard during the recession.

4 : to make a request of hit his friend for 10 dollars often used with up hit us up for some change

5 : to discover or meet especially by chance prospectors hitting gold hit a snowstorm while driving home hit a run of bad luck

6a : to accord with : suit hits public tastes

b : reach, attain prices hit a new high kept digging until he hit water She'll hit 50 on her next birthday.

c : to arrive or appear at, in, or on hit town the best time to hit the stores The newest issue hits newsstands tomorrow.

d of fish : to bite at or on will only hit live bait

e : to reflect accurately hit the right note

f : to reach or strike (something, such as a target) especially for a score in a game or contest couldn't seem to hit the basket

g baseball : bat sense 2b a player who can hit .300

7 : to indulge in excessively hit the bottle

8 : to deal another card to (as in blackjack) hit me

intransitive verb

1a : to strike a blow boxers hitting furiously at each other

b : to arrive with a forceful effect like that of a blow the storm hit

2a : to come into contact with something the plate shattered when it hit

b : attack where the terrorists would hit next

c of a fish : strike sense 11b

d baseball : bat sense 1 next up to hit

3 : to succeed in attaining or coming up with something often used with on or upon hit on a solution

4 obsolete : to be in agreement : suit

5 of an internal combustion engine : to fire a quantity of mixed fuel and air in the cylinders (see cylinder sense 2b) the engine wouldn't hit

hit it big

: to achieve great success

hit it off

: to get along well : become friends they hit it off immediately

hit on

: to make especially sexual overtures to

hit the books

: to study especially with intensity

hit the fan

: to have a major usually undesirable impact

hit the ground running

: to begin or proceed quickly, energetically, or effectively

hit the hay or hit the sack

: to go to bed

hit the high points or hit the high spots

: to touch on or at the most important points or places

hit the jackpot

: to become notably and unexpectedly successful

hit the nail on the head

: to be exactly right

hit the road

: leave, travel also : to set out

hit the roof or hit the ceiling

: to give vent to a burst of anger or angry protest

hit the spot

: to give complete or special satisfaction used especially of food or drink

hit the wall

1 : to reach the point of physical exhaustion during strenuous activity

2 : to reach a limiting point or situation at which progress or success ceases



Definition of hit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of striking or forcefully coming in contact with someone or something : an act or instance of hitting or being hit penalized for an illegal hit from behind The bunker took a direct hit from the bombers.

2a : a stroke of luck

b : a great success The show was a big hit. a compilation of the band's greatest hits The pony rides were a hit with the kids.

3 : a telling or critical remark

4 baseball : base hit

5 : a quantity of a drug ingested at one time took a hit of LSD

6 : a premeditated murder committed especially by a member of a crime syndicate (see syndicate entry 1 sense 3c) a hit on a rival gang leader

7 : an instance of connecting to a particular website a million hits per day

8 : a successful match in a search (as of a computer database or the Internet)

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Other Words from hit


hitter noun


hitless \ˈhit-ləs \ adjective

Examples of hit in a Sentence


She told her son to stop hitting his sister. She hit him hard with her purse. The boxers hit each other with their fists. The boxers were hitting furiously at each other. She hit the ball right to the shortstop. The ball hit the house. The plate shattered when it hit the floor. The tank was hit by enemy fire. He was hit by a car. The ship hit an iceberg.


The player was penalized for an illegal hit from behind. The torpedo made a direct hit. The pony ride was a big hit at the party.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nissan and General Motors are likely to hit the limit soon. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Terrible Timing of Tesla's Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit," 12 July 2018 The film is set to hit theaters on September 21—exactly four days before the premiere of This Is Us season three. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "The Trailer for 'Life Itself', a New Film from the Creator of 'This Is Us', Will Shatter Your Heart," 10 July 2018 More disturbingly, whites are distinctly more likely to believe that police have a right to hit citizens. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "White Americans love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—and flashlights.," 10 July 2018 As the Parker enters the sun's corona, the heat shield's temperatures will hit 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Upcoming Solar Probe Gets Its All-Important Heat Shield," 9 July 2018 As stars appear over the horizon, their light has to travel across the array to hit the mirrors on the far side. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Building the world’s highest-resolution telescope," 9 July 2018 The 24-year-old Kim pushed his lead to three shots by hitting a wedge from 111 yards to within 5 feet for birdie on the par-4 13th. BostonGlobe.com, "Robert Rock takes two-shot lead at Scottish Open," 14 July 2018 Baez said after manufacturing the Cubs’ winning run in the 10th inning Friday night without hitting the ball out of the infield. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Javier Baez's rock star performance moves Cubs into first place," 14 July 2018 The accident occurred just before 4 a.m. near the 110 Freeway interchange, with the bus hitting impact buffers before ending up on its side, Gomez said. Maya Lau And Irfan Khan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Tour bus driving from Pala Casino crashes in L.A., injuring 25," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 86 plate appearances during non-save situations, Giles has allowed 17 earned runs and 29 hits. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Bizarre ending secures Astros' extra-innings victory over A's," 11 July 2018 Brian Dozier, who sent home Wilson with a hit of his own in the fourth, was the first of two to drive offerings from Royals reliever Enny Romero into Target Field’s upper decks in the sixth inning. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Unable to keep early lead vs. Twins, Royals drop another series," 11 July 2018 Milwaukee managed just eight hits in losing the game and the series to Miami, which entered tied with the New York Mets for last place in the National League. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marlins 5, Brewers 4: Offense can't rescue Peralta in extra-inning loss," 11 July 2018 Orioles starter Andrew Cashner gave up five runs and five hits in 6⅓ innings. David Ginsburg, BostonGlobe.com, "Sandoval singled winning run in the 11th," 11 July 2018 From her lips injections to her decision to have a baby at 20, the youngest of the Jenner-Kardashian sisters takes the hits. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Kylie Jenner Is on Track to Be the Youngest Self-Made Billionaire in History," 11 July 2018 Timmy Manning started the state final and allowed one hit in 5.2 innings. Gary Curreri, Sun-Sentinel.com, "North Springs Little League Senior Division All-Stars capture state title," 10 July 2018 Major studies show the southeast and southwest regions of the Gulf of Alaska will take the hardest economic hits from increasingly acidic waters. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "For Alaska sockeye salmon, record highs in Bristol Bay, record lows nearly everywhere else," 9 July 2018 The hit to growth from the $34bn-worth of tariffs is likely to be minuscule, adding up to just about 0.1% of Chinese GDP. The Economist, "As its trade tussle with America heats up, China is on the back foot," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hit


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hit


Middle English, from Old English hyttan, probably from Old Norse hitta to meet with, hit


see hit entry 1

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Statistics for hit

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hit

The first known use of hit was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hit



English Language Learners Definition of hit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move your hand, a bat, etc., quickly so that it touches someone or something in a forceful or violent way

: to cause (something, such as a ball) to move by hitting it forcefully with a bat, racket, etc.

: to touch (something or someone) in a forceful or violent way after moving at a high speed



English Language Learners Definition of hit (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of hitting someone or something

: something that is very successful

: someone or something that is liked by someone very much


\ˈhit \
hit; hitting

Kids Definition of hit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to strike or be struck by (someone or something) forcefully

2 : to cause or allow (something) to come into contact with something He hit his head on the door.

3 : to affect or be affected by in a harmful or damaging way He was hit hard by the loss.

4 : occur sense 1 The storm hit without warning.

5 : to come upon by chance She hit upon the right answer.

6 : to arrive at Prices hit a new high.

Other Words from hit

hitter noun



Kids Definition of hit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a blow striking an object aimed at Bombers scored a direct hit.

2 : something very successful The show is a hit.

3 : a batted baseball that enables the batter to reach base safely

4 : a match in a computer search The search produced over a thousand hits.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hit

Spanish Central: Translation of hit

Nglish: Translation of hit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hit for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hit

Comments on hit

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