\ 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)

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The next batter, Jonathan Schoop, hit a sacrifice fly to center field for the only run of the game. Katherine Fominykh, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles ride rookie Yefry Ramírez to beat error-riddled Rangers, 1-0," 15 July 2018 Power outages hit a little more than 3,700 people in the Clairemont area as well as in National City and nearby parts of San Diego Saturday night. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Power outages to 3,700 near Clairemont; National City," 14 July 2018 Earlier this season, at Great American Ball Park, Carpenter hit a deep fly ball to center field and Hamilton jumped next to the fence to make a grab. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds' Billy Hamilton has taken 2 or 3 potential homers away from Matt Carpenter," 14 July 2018 Prior to his latest theatrics, Baez hit an opposite-field double to right, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-run single by Ian Happ in the second. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Javier Baez's rock star performance moves Cubs into first place," 14 July 2018 In Tulare County, the number of new irrigation wells hit 1,069 that year. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 Allen hit one of his two shot attempts in a summer-league playoff victory over the Knicks. Clevis Murray, azcentral, "Arizona's Kadeem Allen fights to break into the NBA after stint in the G-League," 13 July 2018 In the seventh inning, Pujols hit his 630th career home run off the Mariners' Nick Rumbelow. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Albert Pujols ties Ken Griffey Jr. on career HR list, ties Rickey Henderson on career hits," 13 July 2018 Other friends hit up their wealthy contacts for donations. Jim Ross, WSJ, "A Butler Will Serve You Right," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Serves are underhand and the first two hits must be ground strokes before any volleys can be struck. Gary Gibula, Naperville Sun, "Naperville answering demand for pickleball with new courts at Nike Complex, Southwest Park," 14 July 2018 Despite the hit, the bank still reported revenues of $5 billion in its card, merchant services and auto unit. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Credit card holders at JPMorgan rush to cash in their rewards points," 13 July 2018 Blue Crabs Throttle Bees The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs collected 13 hits en route to an 8-6 victory over the Bees at New Britain Stadium on Friday night. courant.com, "Regional Digest: Altman Anderson First E-Club Hall Inductee," 13 July 2018 Friday Journey and Def Leppard A pair of enduring '80s rock hit-makers have teamed up for one of the summer's powerhouse old-school tours. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Upcoming Detroit concerts: Journey-Def Leppard, Zac Brown Band, Panic! At the Disco, more," 12 July 2018 Velasquez muted any speculation that De Los Santos could nudge him from the rotation by flashing a mid-90s fastball and mixing in his secondary pitches in his first start since getting hit on the forearm by a line drive June 30. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Phillies' Maikel Franco making a play to stay | Extra Innings," 12 July 2018 Prairie Ridge senior Dominic Listi allowed four hits in six innings. Bob Narang, Lake County News-Sun, "Touchdown fever: Peyton Jennings’ strong effort not enough as Libertyville loses to Prairie Ridge," 11 July 2018 After Matt Duffy walked, Robertson won it on his hit to center. Mark Didtler, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Rays stay hot at home as Daniel Robertson's walk-off single in the 10th beats Tigers," 9 July 2018 There’s nothing in this movie that packs the kind of emotional punch Marvel aimed for in Black Panther and Infinity War, its behemoth hits of 2018, but that’s a welcome relief. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Ant-Man and the Wasp," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hit

Statistics for hit

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up hit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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