\ ˈhit How to pronounce hit (audio) \
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 He repeatedly hit the bottle [=drank alcoholic beverages excessively] and, following a wild binge, was exiled to a remote post in the mountains …— Stanley Karnow
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)

Other Words from hit


hitter noun


hitless \ ˈhit-​ləs How to pronounce hit (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hit in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whether any civilians were hit in the incident also remains unknown. Julia Musto, Fox News, 6 Aug. 2022 Pillersdorf, whose home was flooded, noted that the areas worst hit in his county are the ones closest to the strip mines. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, 6 Aug. 2022 The official Cuban News Agency said lightning hit one tank, starting a fire, and the blaze later spread to a second tank. Andrea RodrÍguez, ajc, 6 Aug. 2022 Leisure and hospitality workers, which includes waiters, cooks and hotel clerks, have been in high demand after being hit hard by job losses when nonessential businesses shuttered at the start of the pandemic. Tami Luhby, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 Though news of Dodd's casting as the Netflix hit's sixth-oldest sibling was announced in May, Dodd was just spotted during filming for the first time. Giovana Gelhoren, Peoplemag, 5 Aug. 2022 His cap hit, however, dropped to $12.6 million, creating $6.7 million in available cap space for Arizona. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 5 Aug. 2022 That pattern can hit workers with unexpected and unaffordable debt, Hicks says, or cause people to stay in bad jobs, fearful of the consequences of leaving. Wired, 5 Aug. 2022 The Los Angeles Police Department told the outlet that the car ran off the road and hit the home after traveling at a high speed, and that the driver sustained burn injuries. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The nachos were a big hit and sparked the desire for additional test kitchen creations that would end Taco Bell meals with a little something sweet – and thus, the Strawberry Bell Truffle was born. Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 Do America was a big hit, but people don’t really count that. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 3 Aug. 2022 Last year’s Liberty Beauty advent calendar was a major hit, packed with products from brands like Olaplex, Davines, and Augustinus Bader. Emily Burns, ELLE, 3 Aug. 2022 This dino costume will be a hit with your little one long after the holiday has passed. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, 3 Aug. 2022 In the clubhouse, there was a moment of adjustment and recognition that losing Jordan Montgomery was a hit to the roster, before looking ahead to the addition of front-line starter Frankie Montas. Kristie Ackert, Hartford Courant, 3 Aug. 2022 Season 1 of The First Lady was not a hit with critics — the series currently has a 41 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes from professionals, and a 58 percent audience satisfaction score. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 2 Aug. 2022 The San Bruno restaurant closed last spring to make space for the owners’ new Hawaiian snack shop and general store, Diamond Head, which has also been a hit. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Aug. 2022 Of course, that doesn’t mean that Logitech’s new gaming device won’t be a hit. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

Verb and Noun

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

Learn More About hit

Time Traveler for hit

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hit




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Statistics for hit

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hit. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hit


\ ˈhit How to pronounce hit (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on hit

Nglish: Translation of hit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hit for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hit


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