\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

But that business turned sour in 2016 when supply-chain problems hit its bottom line. Annie Gasparro, WSJ, "Campbell Soup, Third Point Settle Proxy Fight," 26 Nov. 2018 When the stock market hit its peak in September, technology had led the way, accounting for 50 percent of the gains for the year. Matt Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Tech stocks lead slump that erases November’s gain," 19 Nov. 2018 This guide is focused on van life: The ubiquitous, Instagram-friendly phenomenon that has people from all walks of life packing their belongings into 75 square feet and hitting the road. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 In 2014, when Democratic turnout in the state hit an all-time low, Republicans won county judicial posts in historically Democratic areas. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Beto O’Rourke could lead a blue wave in Texas — even though he lost his Senate race," 7 Nov. 2018 Loon was deployed last year after Peru’s deadly floods and again after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, "The Web, Worldwide," 19 Oct. 2018 Jack’s mom—whose face is badly bruised, presumably because her husband hits her—receives a letter from Nicky at war. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 Finally Introduces Jack's Brother Nicky," 17 Oct. 2018 Everyone will be able to look like an angel when the collection hits stores later this year, just in time for the holidays. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "How to Watch the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show," 15 Oct. 2018 Beach bums should check out the #1 resort in the state, the Hotel Wailea, while the outdoorsy types should head out on the Road to Hana, a 68-mile scenic route that hits most of Maui's most striking natural features, like the Seven Sacred Pools. Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Zika-Free Destinations to Travel to This Year," 15 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dodgers rookie starter Walker Buehler dominated over seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Dodgers Beat Red Sox, Eventually, in Longest-Ever World Series Game," 27 Oct. 2018 Natalie filmed both Part 1 and Part 2 of Mockingjay while juggling series regular spots on two hit TV shows: Game of Thrones and Elementary. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "Where the "Hunger Games" Stars Are Today," 14 Sep. 2018 Just a few weeks ago, he was charged with a DUI after a drunk hit-and-run incident. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Mac Miller Dead at 26 Due to Apparent Overdose," 8 Sep. 2018 Richards’ start was arguably his best since April, pitching six shutout innings with four strikeouts while allowing just six baserunners – four hits and two walks. Mike Persak, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins shut out Phillies, 2-0, even weekend series with division leaders," 14 July 2018 She's been struggling to keep it together in the months since her husband was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Bryn Elise Sandberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Christina Applegate to Star in Netflix Comedy Series ‘Dead to Me’ From Will Ferrell and Adam McKay," 11 July 2018 Others say not to overlook emerging markets, which have been particularly hard hit in the recent global equity selloff. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Global Stocks Haven’t Looked This Cheap Since 2016," 29 Oct. 2018 Break free from the usual Top 40 at your party with this list of spooky classics and some newer on-theme hits. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "POLL: How Much Do You Really Love Halloween?," 18 Sep. 2018 From Russian president Vladimir Putin playing the anthem on the piano to Ross, Joey and Chandler dancing to the number one hit in their living room. SI.com, "How Social Media Helped Create a Positive Atmosphere for England to Thrive in During World Cup Run," 12 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

10 Dec 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

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