Did you know?

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

strike out - definition and synonyms

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.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theystrike out
he/she/itstrikes out
present participlestriking out
past tensestruck out
past participlestruck out
  1. 1
    [intransitive] a batter strikes out in baseball by missing the ball three times, ending their turn at trying to hit it
    1. a.
      [transitive] a pitcher strikes a batter out in baseball by throwing three balls that the batter is unable to hit, ending the batter’s turn
  2. 2
    [intransitive] informal to be unsuccessful in trying to do something

    Looks like we’ve struck out again.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to try to hit or attack someone or something
    strike out at:

    Without warning, he struck out at Holmes with his right hand.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to criticize someone or something, especially in a speech, interview, or article
    strike out at:

    He struck out at supporters of the bill in his speech yesterday.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to walk or swim in a particular direction in a way that shows energy or determination
    strike out into:

    We decided to strike out on foot into the woods.

    strike out for:

    Rostov surfaced, then struck out for the nearest shore.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to start doing something new or different, especially in order to become more independent
    strike out on your own:

    O’Connor quit his job and decided to strike out on his own.

    strike out for:

    It was an opportunity to strike out for herself.

  7. 7

    strike out


    strike through

    [transitive] to remove words from a document, for example by drawing a line through them

    Strike out lines 5 to 18.

  8. 8
    [transitive] legal to stop the continuation of a court case

    The judge struck out the case for want of cause (=because it was not justified).

See also main entry: strike
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


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
Macmillan learn live love play