hit

1 of 2

verb

hit; hitting

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
6
a
: 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
He repeatedly hit the bottle [=drank alcoholic beverages excessively] and, following a wild binge, was exiled to a remote post in the mountains … Stanley Karnow
8
: to deal another card to (as in blackjack)
hit me

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
hitter noun

hit

2 of 2

noun

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.
2
a
: 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)
hitless adjective
Phrases
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

Example Sentences

Verb 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. Noun 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
Up by 10 at halftime, Arizona hit its first 11 field goals of the second half to take a 68-57 lead after Cedric Henderson scored twice inside, the last a dunk to give UA a 68-57 lead after Cincinnati had cut the Wildcats’ lead to single digits. Bruce Pascoe, The Arizona Republic, 22 Nov. 2022 LaVine hit a 3 early in the third to make it 74-53. Andrew Seligman, ajc, 22 Nov. 2022 Seiko and Lamont Butler also hit big 3s to help the Aztecs to a 37-26 halftime lead. cleveland, 22 Nov. 2022 In late August, the movie hit premium VOD at a price tag of $19.99 and zoomed to the top of home viewing charts. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Nov. 2022 Hood-Schifino hit 5-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-4 3-pointers, on the way to 12 points in IU's win. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Nov. 2022 Wilson then hit a floater along the baseline before making a tough 15-foot fadeaway over Dickinson with 4:13 to play. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 21 Nov. 2022 Carr hit 3 three-pointers in as many possessions and Makayla Daniels, who finished 12 points and four assists, punctuated the spurt with a three of her own. Mitchell Gladstone, Arkansas Online, 21 Nov. 2022 The quake hit the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Masrur Jamaluddin, CNN, 21 Nov. 2022
Noun
This sounds like cover for a desire by Yale to be free to admit students with lower test scores in service to diversity, but without taking a hit to its exclusive reputation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2022 There are a few reasons that bankers are taking a hit this year. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 15 Nov. 2022 He was held out of Arkansas' 40-17 loss at Mississippi State on Oct. 8 after taking a hit to the head the previous week in a 49-26 loss to Alabama. Bob Holt, Arkansas Online, 14 Nov. 2022 Already, Silicon Valley is taking a hit, with major companies shedding workers in recent weeks. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2022 Many major tech companies fall into this category and are taking a hit. Devika Rao, The Week, 8 Nov. 2022 Plumlee left the game against Cincinnati in the second quarter after taking a hard hit at the end of a third-down run and did not return. Jason Beede, Orlando Sentinel, 31 Oct. 2022 But at the end of his run on Sunday, Tagovailoa got down without taking a big hit. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 30 Oct. 2022 All of those players did not play against Virginia Tech last week except Mallory, who departed the game with an injury after taking a hard hit when catching a pass. Adam Lichtenstein, Sun Sentinel, 22 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English hyttan, probably from Old Norse hitta to meet with, hit

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near hit

Cite this Entry

“Hit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hit. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

hit 1 of 2

verb

hit; hitting
1
a
: to strike usually with force
hit a ball
the ball hit the house
b
: to make or bring into contact with something
tipped over and hit the floor
c
: to strike something aimed at
hit the bull's-eye
2
b
: to affect as if by a blow
3
: to arrive with a forceful effect
the storm hit at sundown
4
a
: to come upon : discover
hit upon the answer accidentally
b
: to get to : reach
hit town that night
prices hit a new high
c
: to reflect accurately
hits the right note
5
: to fire the charge in the cylinders
hit it off
: to get along well
hitter noun

hit

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a blow striking an object aimed at
2
a
: a stroke of luck
b
: a great success
the show was a hit
3
4
: a single dose of a narcotic drug
5
: an instance of a computer user connecting to a given website
a million hits per day
6
: a successful match in a computer search

More from Merriam-Webster on hit

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