hit/strike/touch a nerve

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of hit/strike/touch a nerve

: to make someone feel angry, upset, embarrassed, etc.
  • Something she said to him must have hit/struck/touched a nerve. I've never seen him so angry.
  • His controversial column might have hit a (raw/sensitive) nerve with some readers.

Word by Word Definitions

hit play
  1. : to reach with or as if with a sudden blow

  2. : to come in quick forceful contact with

  3. : to strike (something, such as a ball) with an object (such as a bat, club, or racket) so as to impart or redirect motion

  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

  2. : a stroke of luck

  3. : a great success

strike play
  1. : to take a course : go

  2. : to aim and usually deliver a blow, stroke, or thrust (as with the hand, a weapon, or a tool)

  3. : to arrive with detrimental effect

  1. : a tool for smoothing a surface (as of a mold)

  2. : an act or instance of striking

  3. : a work stoppage by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer

touch play
  1. : to bring a bodily part into contact with especially so as to perceive through the tactile sense : handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate

  2. : to put hands upon in any way or degree

  3. : to take into the hands or mouth

  1. : the act or fact of touching

  2. : the special sense by which pressure or traction exerted on the skin or mucous membrane is perceived

  3. : a specified sensation that arises in response to stimulation of the tactile receptors : feel

nerve play
  1. : sinew, tendon

  2. : any of the filamentous bands of nervous tissue that connect parts of the nervous system with the other organs, conduct nerve impulses, and are made up of axons and dendrites together with protective and supportive structures

  3. : power of endurance or control : fortitude, strength

  1. : to give strength or courage to : supply with physical or moral force


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