hit - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlehitting
past tensehit
past participlehit
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] 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 kerb.

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

    Try to roll as you hit the ground.

    1. a.
      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.

       Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      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 in the face/eye/stomach:

      They hit me in the stomach.

      hit someone with something:

      James was hit with a stick.

       Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      to use something such as a bat to make a ball move

      He hit the ball over the net.

    4. d.
      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 by a lorry.

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

    Many houses have been without water since the storm hit.

    The craze hit England in 1951.

    He gasped as the pain hit him.

     Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    [transitive] [often passive] to have a bad effect on someone or something

    The people this legislation will hit hardest are the poor.

    be hard/badly hit:

    Local businesses have been hard hit by the recession.

  4. 4
    [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.

  5. 5
    [transitive] informal to reach a place, especially on your way to somewhere else

    When you hit the traffic lights, turn left.

  6. 6
    [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.

  7. 7
    [transitive] if an idea or the truth hits you, you suddenly realize it

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

  8. 8
    [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.

  9. 9
    [transitive] to achieve a particular score when you hit the ball in a sport such as baseball or cricket

    Did anyone hit a home run (=in baseball)?

    He hit a six (=in cricket).

     Synonyms and related words
     Synonyms and related words
  10.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    hit a rocky patch to come to face problems

    After their new baby arrived, their marriage hit a rocky patch.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 29/05/2016