\ˈstrīk \
struck\ˈstrək \; struck also stricken\ˈstri-kən \; striking\ˈstrī-kiŋ \

Definition of strike 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to take a course : go struck off through the brush

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

b : to arrive with detrimental effect disaster struck

c : to attempt to undermine or harm something as if by a blow struck at … cherished notions— R. P. Warren

3 : to come into contact forcefully two ships struck in mid channel

4 : to delete something

5 : to lower a flag usually in surrender

6a : to become indicated by a clock, bell, or chime the hour had just struck

b : to make known the time by sounding the clock struck as they entered

7 : pierce, penetrate the wind seemed to strike through our clothes

8a : to engage in battle

b : to make a military attack

9 : to become ignited the match struck

10 : to discover something struck on a new plan of attack

11a : to pull on a fishing rod in order to set the hook

b of a fish : to seize the bait

12 : dart, shoot

13a of a plant cutting : to take root

b of a seed : germinate

14 : to make an impression

15 : to stop work in order to force an employer to comply with demands

16 : to make a beginning the need to strike vigorously for success

17 : to thrust oneself forward he struck into the midst of the argument

18 : to work diligently : strive

transitive verb

1a : to strike at : hit

b : to drive or remove by or as if by a blow

c : to attack or seize with a sharp blow (as of fangs or claws) struck by a snake

d : inflict strike a blow

e : to produce by or as if by a blow or stroke Moses struck water from the rock

f : to separate by a sharp blow strike off flints

2a : to haul down : lower strike the sails

b : to dismantle and take away strike the set

c : to strike the tents of (a camp)

3 : to afflict suddenly stricken by a heart attack

4a : to engage in (a battle) : fight

b : to make a military attack on

5 : delete, cancel strike the last paragraph

6a : to penetrate painfully : pierce

b : to cause to penetrate strike the needle

c : to send down or out trees struck roots deep into the soil

7a : to level (something, such as a measure of grain) by scraping off what is above the rim

b : to smooth or form (something, such as a mold) with a tool

8 : to indicate by sounding the clock struck one

9a(1) : to bring into forceful contact struck his head on the doorjamb

(2) : to shake (hands) in confirming an agreement

(3) : to thrust suddenly

b : to come into contact or collision with the car struck the tree

c of light : to fall on

d of a sound : to become audible to

10a : to affect with a mental or emotional state or a strong emotion struck with horror at the sight

b : to affect a person with (a strong emotion) words that struck fear in the listeners

c : to cause to become by or as if by a sudden blow struck him dead

11a : to produce by stamping strike a coin

b(1) : to produce (something, such as fire) by or as if by striking

(2) : to cause to ignite by friction strike a match

12 : to make and ratify the terms of strike a bargain

13a : to play or produce by stroking keys or strings struck a series of chords on the piano

b : to produce as if by playing an instrument his voice struck a note of concern

14a : to hook (a fish) by a sharp pull on the line

b of a fish : to snatch at (a bait)

15a : to occur to the answer struck me suddenly

b : to appear to especially as a revelation or as remarkable : impress it struck the crowd as insensitive

16 : bewitch

17 : to arrive at by or as if by computation strike a balance

18a : to come to : attain

b : to come upon : discover strike gold

19 : to engage in a strike against (an employer)

20 : take on, assume strike a pose

21a : to place (a plant cutting) in a medium for growth and rooting

b : to so propagate (a plant)

22 : to make one's way along will strike the southern coast

23 : to cause (an arc) to form (as between electrodes of an arc lamp)

24 of an insect : to oviposit on or in

strike it rich

: to become rich usually suddenly



Definition of strike (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2 : an act or instance of striking

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

b : a temporary stoppage of activities in protest against an act or condition

4 : the direction of the line of intersection of a horizontal plane with an uptilted geological stratum

5a : a pull on a fishing rod to strike a fish

b : a pull on a line by a fish in striking

6 : a stroke of good luck especially : a discovery of a valuable mineral deposit

7a : a pitched ball that is in the strike zone or is swung at and is not hit fair

b : a perfectly thrown ball or pass

9 : an act or instance of knocking down all the bowling pins with the first bowl

10 : establishment of roots and plant growth

11 : cutaneous myiasis (as of sheep)

12a : a military attack especially : an air attack on a single objective

b : a group of airplanes taking part in such an attack

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Choose the Right Synonym for strike


affect, influence, touch, impress, strike, sway mean to produce or have an effect upon. affect implies the action of a stimulus that can produce a response or reaction. the sight affected her to tears influence implies a force that brings about a change (as in nature or behavior). our beliefs are influenced by our upbringing touch may carry a vivid suggestion of close contact and may connote stirring, arousing, or harming. plants touched by frost his emotions were touched by her distress impress stresses the depth and persistence of the effect. only one of the plans impressed him strike, similar to but weaker than impress, may convey the notion of sudden sharp perception or appreciation. struck by the solemnity of the occasion sway implies the acting of influences that are not resisted or are irresistible, with resulting change in character or course of action. politicians who are swayed by popular opinion

Examples of strike in a Sentence


The ship struck an iceberg. The car struck the tree. The bullet struck him in the leg. The cyclist was struck by a car. The tree was struck by lightning. He fell and his head struck the pavement. I could hear the rain striking the rooftop. She struck the cymbals together. The killer struck him with a blunt object. She accidentally struck another player in the face.


a strike by airline pilots The workers are on strike. Workers threatened to take strike action. The allies have launched several strikes.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This month, a pedicab operator was struck on Embarcadero near Sansome Street by a gold Honda sedan whose driver fled the scene. Rachel Swan,, "Bicyclists protest as city plans for safer lanes hit bumps," 13 July 2018 In mid-May, Maria Francisco Pascual, 53, of Lake Worth, was fatally struck by a lightning bolt while working in Parkland. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Lightning strike kills one man and critically injures another," 11 July 2018 Cordon’s female cousin, who was staying at the residence, was struck by the assailant with a firearm. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Attorney: Residence owned by LeSean McCoy broken into and ex-girlfriend assaulted by assailant," 10 July 2018 Two people also were struck by lightning along Chicago’s lakefront Wednesday night. Alicia Fabbre, Elgin Courier-News, "'I felt the shock': St. Charles fire captain, Plainfield paramedic credited with saving lives of 2 lightning strike victims," 6 July 2018 The statement also said that a female cousin of Cordon’s who was visiting had also been struck in the head with the firearm. New York Times, "LeSean McCoy Denies Accusations That Surfaced on Social Media," 10 July 2018 After nearly four tense hours, around 2:30 a.m., Dripps fired at authorities again, striking three officers — one from Geneva police, one from Hanover Park police and one from the Kane County sheriff’s department. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Family of man who shot 3 officers in South Elgin standoff says he was distraught with health, financial woes," 10 July 2018 Authorities warned that landslides could strike even after rain subsides as the calamity shaped up to be potentially the worst in decades. Haruka Nuga And Yuri Kageyama,, "Death toll climbs to 76 as heavy rains hammer southern Japan," 8 July 2018 Curtain Call Theatre’s next production is a satire on capitalism, social irresponsibility and musical theater itself that the show’s director says strikes a chord with young people. Jessi Virtusio, Daily Southtown, "Curtain Call's ‘Urinetown’ hilariously addresses basic needs amid greed, love, revolution," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Aiming for strike three, Cook threw his first four-seam fastball, down and in. Tom Verducci,, "The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout," 12 July 2018 One strike away from victory, the ball in the hand of their capable closer, the Dodgers let a one-run lead and a game slip through their fingers — literally — on a scorching Friday evening at Angel Stadium. Mike Digiovanna,, "Angels rally in ninth inning in 3-2 victory over Dodgers," 7 July 2018 Renderings show an astronaut outpost shrouded in lunar soil, which is molded into an exterior shell around the modules to protect them from radiation, asteroid strikes and temperature fluctuations. NBC News, "Here's what future Mars and lunar space colonies could look like," 7 July 2018 Courtois also saved well from a curling Philippe Coutinho strike. James Taylor, Pro Soccer USA, "Brazil 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils Shatter Brazil’s Dreams With Clinical Display to Set Up France Clash," 6 July 2018 In 1977, a blackout hit New York City in the mid-evening as lightning strikes on electrical equipment caused power to fail; widespread looting broke out., "This day in history," 13 July 2018 Lightning strikes were also detected about 40 miles off the coast. Robert Krier,, "Steamy weather might include thunderstorms," 10 July 2018 An average of 47 people are killed by lightning strikes each year, according to the National Weather Service, making such events extremely rare. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Girlfriend revives boyfriend after lightning strike: 'You’re not allowed to leave yet'," 10 July 2018 The app should then notify you the moment Lightning strikes. Wired Staff, WIRED, "How to Get Primed for Amazon Prime Day," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strike.' 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 strike


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for strike


Middle English, from Old English strīcan to stroke, go; akin to Old High German strīhhan to stroke, Latin stringere to touch lightly, striga, stria furrow

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Statistics for strike

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strike

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

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More Definitions for strike



English Language Learners Definition of strike

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hit (someone or something) in a forceful way

: to cause (something) to hit something in a forceful way

: to hit (someone or something) with your hand, a weapon, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of strike (Entry 2 of 2)

: a period of time when workers stop work in order to force an employer to agree to their demands

: a military attack

: the act of hitting something with force


\ˈstrīk \
struck\ˈstrək \; struck also stricken\ˈstri-kən \; striking\ˈstrī-kiŋ \

Kids Definition of strike

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to touch, hit, or affect with force He struck the horse with a whip. The tree was struck by lightning.

2 : to come into contact or collision with The ship struck a rock.

3 : to attack or seize suddenly The snake struck.

4 : go sense 1, proceed They struck off into the woods.

5 : to lower, take down, or take apart Let's strike camp.

6 : to make known by sounding : cause to sound The clock struck one.

7 : to affect usually suddenly She was stricken with a high fever.

8 : to produce by or as if by a blow We'll strike fear into the enemy.

9 : to happen with damaging force or effect The storm struck the island.

10 : to cause to ignite by scratching I struck a match.

11 : to agree on the arrangements of We struck a deal.

12 : to make an impression on The idea struck me as funny.

13 : to come to mind The answer struck me suddenly.

14 : to produce on a musical instrument Strike up a tune.

15 : to remove or cancel with or as if with the stroke of a pen Strike that name from the list.

16 : to come upon : discover Miners struck gold.

17 : to take on : assume She struck a relaxed pose.

18 : to stop work in order to force an employer to meet demands regarding conditions of work

19 : to produce by stamping The mint is striking a new coin.

strike out

: to be out in baseball by getting three strikes during a turn at bat

strike up

: to cause to begin We struck up a conversation.



Kids Definition of strike (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of striking a lightning strike the strike of the clock

2 : a stopping of work by workers to force an employer to agree to demands

3 : an unhelpful or undesirable characteristic : disadvantage Their poor attendance was a strike against them.

4 : a baseball pitch that is not hit fair or that passes through a certain area over home plate ( strike zone ) without being hit and that counts against the batter

5 : the knocking down of all the pins with the first ball in bowling

6 : a discovery of a valuable mineral deposit an oil strike

7 : a military attack The army launched a strike against the enemy.


\ˈstrīk \

Medical Definition of strike 

: cutaneous myiasis (as of sheep) body strike blowfly strike

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struck; struck also stricken; striking

Legal Definition of strike 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to remove or delete something

2 : to stop work in order to force an employer to comply with demands

transitive verb

1 : to remove or delete from a legal document and especially from the record of a trial it struck that part of [the] injunctionNational Law Journal

2 : to remove (a prospective juror) from a venire

3 : to engage in a strike against (an employer)



Legal Definition of strike (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the removal of a potential juror from a venire — compare challenge

2 : a concerted work stoppage, interruption, or slowdown by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer — see also rent strike, Labor Management Relations Act — compare job action

economic strike

: a strike that is brought against an employer because of a dispute regarding economic benefits or conditions (as wages)

Note: Workers engaged in an economic strike can legally be replaced permanently. No-strike clauses in collective bargaining agreements have been held to bar only economic strikes and not strikes protesting an unfair labor practice.

general strike

: a simultaneous strike by all unionized workers of all trades and industries

jurisdictional strike

: a strike that is called against an employer as a result of a dispute with another union as to the right to perform particular work

organizational strike

: recognition strike in this entry

primary strike

: a strike by workers against their employer with whom they have a dispute

recognition strike

: a strike by workers against their employer seeking to force the employer to recognize the union as their collective bargaining agent

called also organizational strike

secondary strike

: sympathy strike in this entry

sit-down strike

: a strike during which employees remain in and occupy the employer's premises as a protest and means of forcing compliance with demands

Note: This form of strike has been illegal according to both statute and case law since the early 1940s.

sympathy strike

: a strike by workers not involved in a labor dispute in support of other striking employees or unions

called also secondary strike

wildcat strike

: a strike by workers that is not authorized by the union

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Comments on strike

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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