\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

In 1977, a blackout hit the New York City area after lightning struck power lines upstate., "July 14, 1977: Blackout hits N.Y.," 14 July 2018 There is Niro’s portrait of her mother, who strikes a pose on the trunk of a car, her arm flung coyly behind her head. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 The pickup was traveling off of westbound I-70 and struck the woman's vehicle on the driver's side. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Woman awaiting help on I-70 is fatally struck by passing vehicle," 11 July 2018 Malta only agreed to let the Lifeline dock after striking a deal with several European countries, including Italy, Portugal and France, who will receive some of the migrants. Chris Irvine, Fox News, "Angela Merkel warns migrant crisis could 'make or break' EU ahead of crucial summit," 28 June 2018 Comcast rebuffed by Fox last year Comcast first approached Fox about buying Fox properties in November 2017, the month before Fox struck its first deal with Disney. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Fox desperately trying to avoid selling to Comcast," 26 June 2018 The company even struck a deal with former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama., "Netflix Beat HBO For Most Emmy Nominations For The First Time In 18 Years," 12 July 2018 By using peak pricing to shape demand, MoviePass could steer its members to empty seats in screenings, and strike better deals with independent theaters and chains for otherwise lost revenue. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "MoviePass Adds Peak Pricing Surcharge to Its Subscription Movie Theater Service," 5 July 2018 Waukegan police said that the June 12 incident occurred outside of a home in the 500 block of Helmholz Avenue after Greenlee got into an argument with the mother of the toddler who was later struck. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Woman accused of hitting toddler with car pleads not guilty in Lake County court," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Managers who argue ball and strike calls with an umpire face an ejection, but that's not why Royals manager Ned Yost was tossed from Kansas City's 3-1 loss to the Twins on Monday. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Here is the called third strike on Royals' Lucas Duda, manager Ned Yost's ejection," 10 July 2018 He was banished from the Yankees’ bench in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. David Waldstein, New York Times, "For the Yankees, a Win Ends With Concerns About Aroldis Chapman," 7 July 2018 Since losing his legs, Harvey’s focus is elsewhere, away from balls and strikes. Stephen Ruiz,, "Umpires rally around Sanford peer after infection costs him his legs," 6 July 2018 Lovullo was arguing that Timmons shouldn’t let anyone, including one of the game’s greatest catchers, influence his decisions on balls and strikes. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Torey Lovullo and Yadier Molina meet to clear the air, but Cardinals get the last word," 2 July 2018 Gardenhire was thrown out in the third inning of the 3-0 loss to the A's after arguing balls and strikes during Niko Goodrum's at bat. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers Ron Gardenhire ejected because of ... his bench coach?," 28 June 2018 LeBron James does not call fouls on himself, and Max Scherzer does not call balls and strikes. Michael Rosenberg,, "Make No Mistake: Phil Mickelson Admitted to Cheating and Should Have Been Disqualified," 16 June 2018 Putin denies involvement in the July 17, 2014, surface-to-air missile strike on the Boeing 777, which was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Rob Harris, Fox News, "Dutch soccer great Van Basten rejects Putin meeting concerns," 12 July 2018 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

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

5 Nov 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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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