Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

hit

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb American English pronunciation: hit /hɪt/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyhit
he/she/ithits
present participlehitting
past tensehit
past participlehit
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to move your hand or an object onto someone's body with great force, so that you hurt them

    Don't hit your brother!

    hit someone on the shoulder/cheek/arm etc.:

    He hit me on the shoulder.

    hit someone with something:

    James was hit with a baseball bat.

    hit someone in the face/eye/stomach:

    They hit me in the stomach.

    1. a.
      if a vehicle hits someone or something, it moves against them with great force

      She was hit by a speeding car.

      The truck hit the wall.

      My car was hit from behind.

    2. b.
      to move quickly onto an object or surface, touching it with force

      She threw her glass across the room and it hit the wall.

      hit your head/knee/arm etc. on/against something:

      It's thought he may have fallen and hit his head on the curb.

      hit the ground/floor (=fall to the ground):

      Try to roll as you hit the ground.

    3. c.
      to deliberately move an object so that it touches another object with force
      hit something with something:

      The youngest child was hitting the table with a toy hammer.

    4. d.
      if something such as a bullet or bomb hits someone or something, it lands on them

      She was hit by a stray bullet.

      According to first reports, some bombs have hit schools and hospitals.

      hit the target/bullseye:

      None of the missiles hit their target.

  2. 2
    [transitive] if an idea or the truth hits you, you suddenly realize it

    It suddenly hit her that she would never see him again.

  3. 3
    [transitive] informal to reach a particular state

    a singer who hit the big time (=became very successful) in 1998

    1. a.
      to reach a particular amount, level, or age

      She hits forty this year and we're planning a big party.

  4. 4
    [transitive] spoken to press something such as a switch on a machine, vehicle, or computer in order to make it do something

    She hit the brakes too late and the car skidded.

    Just hit the Save button every few minutes.

  5. 6
    [intransitive/transitive] to suddenly start to affect someone or something

    Many houses have been without water since the storm hit.

    The craze hit California in 1951.

    He gasped as the pain hit him.

  6. 7
    [transitive] informal to reach a place, especially on your way to somewhere else

    When you hit the traffic lights, turn left.

  7. 8
    [transitive] informal to have a problem when you are trying to do something
    hit a problem/bad patch:

    We hit a problem when we tried to print the document.

    The talks appear to have hit a snag.

  8. 9
    [transitive] [often passive] to have a bad effect on someone or something
    be hard/badly hit:

    Local businesses have been hard hit by the recession.

    The people this legislation will hit the hardest are the poor.

phrases

dark pool

a method of financial trading in which share prices are hidden and not openly available to the public

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

bottom line

the amount of money that a business makes or loses

Open Dictionary

subtweet

to post a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog