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strike - definition and synonyms

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verb     strike pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestriking
past tensestruck
past participlestruck
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] formal to hit against, or to crash into, someone or something

    One of the bullets struck her forearm.

    The boat struck bottom.

    strike someone/something on the something:

    The ball struck her hard on the left shoulder.

    be struck by something:

    She’s in the hospital with head injuries after being struck by a car.

    1. a.
      [transitive] formal to hurt a part of your body by accidentally knocking it against an object
      strike on:

      Gordon fell from his bike and struck his head on the ground.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] if lightning strikes something such as a tree or a building, it hits it and damages or destroys it

      Can lightning ever strike twice in the same place?

      Judy’s house was struck by lightning during the storm.

  2. 2
    [transitive] formal to hit someone or something with your hand, a tool, or a weapon
    strike someone/something on the something:

    He fled empty-handed after striking a security guard on the head.

    strike something with something:

    Idiot!” cried Simmons, striking his forehead with the palm of his hand.

    strike (someone) a blow (on something):

    She had been struck a blow on the back of the head.

    1. a.
      [transitive] formal to hit or kick something such as a ball with your hand, foot, or a piece of sports equipment

      She’s really striking the ball well and has her confidence back.

      He struck a vicious slap shot into the back of the net.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to make a sudden violent or illegal attack on someone or something

    Police say they fear the man could strike again.

    The thief struck sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    strike against:

    We will use these air bases to strike against the northern territories.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to make a successful attack in a competition, especially by scoring a goal or point

      Anderson struck twice in three minutes in the first half.

      Henry struck the winning goal seconds before the end of the game.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to refuse to work for a period of time as a protest about your pay or conditions at work

    The right to strike was then established in the constitution.

    strike for:

    Pilots were striking for a 6% pay increase.

    strike over:

    Automobile workers were threatening to strike over the job losses.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] if something unpleasant or dangerous strikes, or if it strikes someone or something, it happens suddenly and unexpectedly and causes harm or damage to them

    Accidents can strike at any time.

    Three earthquakes struck Peru on April 5th and 6th.

    tragedy strikes (someone/something):

    That same year, tragedy struck the family again.

    disaster strikes (someone/something):

    Disaster struck within minutes of takeoff.

  6. 6
    [transitive] [never progressive] if a thought or idea strikes you, it enters your mind suddenly or unexpectedly

    It was then that the thought struck her.

    The first thing that struck me about Alex was his amazing self-confidence.

    it strikes someone that:

    It struck her that this was not perhaps the best time to bring up the subject.

    it strikes someone how:

    It struck us how sick he was looking these days.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to press a key or to hit a musical instrument with a finger or a hand in order to produce a note or a series of notes
  8. 8
    [transitive] to rub a match with a short quick movement against a hard surface, producing a flame

    He struck a match, shading it with his hand.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] if a match strikes, it produces a flame as a result of being rubbed with a short quick movement against a hard surface

      The matches won’t strike if they’re damp.

  9. 9
    [intransitive/transitive] if a clock strikes or strikes a particular time, it makes a sound like a bell a particular number of times to show what time it is
    strike the hour (=make a sound at one o’clock, two o’clock, etc.):

    One of the clocks struck the hour.

  10. 10
    [transitive] to remove words from a document, for example by drawing a line through them
    strike something from something:

    Their names should be struck from the list of candidates.

    strike something from the record:

    The court reporter will strike that remark from the record.

  11. 11
    [transitive] if light strikes something, it shines on it

    Her hair looks red when light strikes it.

  12. 12
    [transitive] to make something such as a deal or an agreement by which both sides get an advantage or a benefit
    strike a deal/bargain:

    These questions must be answered before a deal can be struck.

  13. 13
    [transitive] to find something such as gold or oil by digging or drilling
  14. 14
    [transitive] [usually passive] to make a coin or medal by cutting it out of a piece of metal

    The first English gold coin was struck in 1255.

    Synonyms and related words
  15. 15
    [transitive] to lower and remove a structure such as a tent or sail
    strike camp (=remove all the tents in it):

    The order was given to strike camp at dawn.

    strike a set (=remove the background and furniture used in a play, movie, or television program):

    They were waiting for the director’s order to strike the set.

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