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.

Examples of hit/strike/touch a nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Knowing that many feel passionately about the brand, particularly after Westwood’s death, the show on Saturday appeared to touch a nerve. Leah Dolan, CNN, 4 Mar. 2024 In Milwaukee, for-profit colleges touch a nerve: After several have closed in the city, some don't want to see others open. Journal Sentinel, 5 Jan. 2024 Dating in a picturesque tropical villa seems to always strike a nerve, but emotions will run especially deep for these couples. Calie Schepp, EW.com, 10 May 2023 Justice Engoron’s decision to bar them from running any New York business for two years — and Mr. Trump for three — will likely strike a nerve with the Trump family. Ben Protess, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 After the cheery foot massage, though, Behar appeared to hit a nerve with the 53-year-old during a discussion about his potential run for office in his home state of Texas. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 12 Sep. 2023 Skipping forward in two 12-year intervals, the film asks questions about love, time and geographic barriers that strike a nerve in all manner of viewers. Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 While Kyte Baby’s actions appear to have been legal, its handling of the employee’s request seems to have hit a nerve with its customer base of parents — including some with preemies of their own. Maham Javaid, Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2024 The case has hit a nerve in Italy, where chauvinistic attitudes remain deeply rooted at all levels of society, heightening the challenges of addressing violence against women. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023

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

Dictionary Entries Near hit/strike/touch a nerve

hit/strike pay dirt

hit/strike/touch a nerve


Cite this Entry

“Hit/strike/touch a nerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hit%2Fstrike%2Ftouch%20a%20nerve. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!