strike

verb
\ ˈstrīk How to pronounce strike (audio) \
struck\ ˈstrək How to pronounce struck (audio) \; struck also stricken\ ˈstri-​kən How to pronounce stricken (audio) \; striking\ ˈstrī-​kiŋ How to pronounce striking (audio) \

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 hitting or plucking 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

strike

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for strike

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for strike

Verb

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

Verb 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. Noun a strike by airline pilots The workers are on strike. Workers threatened to take strike action. The allies have launched several strikes.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The slapstick humor struck me as either repressed or coded desire. Alejandro Varela, Harper's magazine, "Carlitos in Charge," 16 Sep. 2019 Now the meandering conversation about sports, movies, cars, relationships and whatever strikes them comes in the form of a podcast, recorded in Palet’s garage. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Painful lesson of late Jake Palet: Helping, hurting can go hand-in-hand," 16 Sep. 2019 Seattle police are investigating after a driver struck a woman Monday evening on Aurora Avenue North near Green Lake, seriously injuring her. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Woman struck by car on Aurora Avenue near Green Lake, seriously injured," 16 Sep. 2019 However, one striking difference was that the fungi Candida was found in more preterm infants. Kent Willis, The Conversation, "The womb isn’t sterile – healthy babies are born with bacteria and fungi in their guts," 13 Sep. 2019 The models wore the clothes confidently, striking poses, having fun, and just generally being themselves. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "The Big Takeaway From NYFW 2019: Find More Joy," 13 Sep. 2019 When the sun rises or sets, its rays strike the atmosphere at an angle—forcing the light to travel farther and filter through more particles known as aerosols. Alex Fox, Science | AAAS, "This sulfur-spewing Russian volcano is turning sunsets purple," 13 Sep. 2019 Trump’s rule will be met with an equal amount of opposition and court challenges and attempts to strike it down. NBC News, "Trump administration nixes Obama-era clean water protections," 12 Sep. 2019 After being taken to the Towson police precinct, Daughtrey told police the security guard had struck her in the face, prompting her to grab her bag from the front desk counter and swing it at him, according to the documents. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "Towson attempted murder suspect told police: ‘If I intended to ever use the gun, I would never have missed’," 11 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wolmer was ahead 2–1 when play was suspended after the lightning strike. Jenna West, SI.com, "Three Jamaican Soccer Players Sent to Hospital After Lightning Strikes Field," 17 Sep. 2019 Dogs go on a deadly rampage after a large meteor strikes a quiet town. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Tarkenton threw touchdown strikes of 14 yards to Bob Schnelker, 29 yards to Reichow, 2 yards to Hugh McElhenny and 2 yards to Dave Middleton while also having a 2-yard TD run. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "The Minny 500: As Vikings go for milestone win, ex-players recall the first one," 13 Sep. 2019 In striking contrast to young San Francisco pitchers littering their outings with mistakes, Cueto threw strikes on 43 of his 69 pitches and yielded almost nothing in the way of solid contact. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Cueto returns, and it’s as if he never left," 10 Sep. 2019 The game cannot resume until 30 minutes after the final lightning strike within an 8-mile radius of Husky Stadium. oregonlive, "Washington Huskies vs. California Golden Bears underway after lightning delay: Live score updates, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online," 7 Sep. 2019 Knight running back Quinn Bowen ran 60 yards for the game’s first touchdown before Esquivel threw touchdown strikes of 21 yards to Brandon Howard, 20 yards to Luke Vidal and 16 yards to Dan Dishman as Clear Falls built a 28-7 lead. Houston Chronicle, "Football: Clear Falls races past Texas City, 49-7," 7 Sep. 2019 After a prolonged strike and a string of workplace fatalities in South Africa, executives at Sibanye-Stillwater are leaning heavily on the mining company’s Montana platinum mines to turn things around. Washington Post, "Montana mines buoy firm beset by deaths, strike in S. Africa," 4 Sep. 2019 But after the strike, many in China called for a boycott of the airline, while China’s airline regulator accused the carrier of putting safety at risk. Jane Li, Quartz, "A Cathay Pacific labor leader was fired for her Facebook posts on Hong Kong’s protests," 23 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of strike

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for strike

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strike

Statistics for strike

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for strike

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for strike

strike

verb
How to pronounce strike (audio)

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.

strike

noun

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

strike

verb
\ ˈstrīk How to pronounce strike (audio) \
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.

strike

noun

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.

strike

noun
\ ˈstrīk How to pronounce strike (audio) \

Medical Definition of strike

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

Keep scrolling for more

strike

verb
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)

strike

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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