v. hit, hit·ting, hits
1. To come into contact with forcefully; strike: The car hit the guardrail.
a. To cause to come into contact: She hit her hand against the wall.
b. To deal a blow to: He hit the punching bag.
c. To cause an implement or missile to come forcefully into contact with: hit the nail with a hammer.
3. To press or push (a key or button, for example): hit the return key by mistake.
a. To reach with a propelled ball or puck: hit the running back with a pass.
b. To score in this way: She hit the winning basket.
c. To perform (a shot or maneuver) successfully: couldn’t hit the jump shot.
d. To propel with a stroke or blow: hit the ball onto the green.
a. To execute (a base hit) successfully: hit a single.
b. To bat against (a pitcher or kind of pitch) successfully: can’t hit a slider.
a. To affect, especially adversely: The company was hit hard by the recession. Influenza hit the elderly the hardest.
b. To be affected by (a negative development): Their marriage hit a bad patch.
a. To win (a prize, for example), especially in a lottery.
b. To arise suddenly in the mind of; occur to: It finally hit him that she might be his long-lost sister.
a. Informal To go to or arrive at: We hit the beach early.
b. Informal To attain or reach: Monthly sales hit a new high. She hit 40 on her last birthday.
c. To produce or represent accurately: trying to hit the right note.
9. Games To deal cards to.
10. Sports To bite on or take (bait or a lure). Used of a fish.
1. To strike or deal a blow.
a. To come into contact with something; collide.
b. To attack: The raiders hit at dawn.
c. To happen or occur: The storm hit without warning.
3. To achieve or find something desired or sought: finally hit on the answer; hit upon a solution to the problem.
4. Baseball To bat or bat well: Their slugger hasn’t been hitting lately.
5. Sports To score by shooting, especially in basketball: hit on 7 of 8 shots.
6. To ignite a mixture of air and fuel in the cylinders. Used of an internal-combustion engine.
a. A collision or impact.
b. A successfully executed shot, blow, thrust, or throw.
c. Sports A deliberate collision with an opponent, such as a body check in ice hockey.
2. A successful or popular venture: a Broadway hit.
a. A match of data in a search string against data that one is searching.
b. A connection made to a website over the internet or another network: Our company’s website gets about 250,000 hits daily.
4. An apt or effective remark.
5. Abbr. H Baseball A base hit.
a. A dose of a narcotic drug.
b. A puff of a cigarette or a pipe.
7. Slang A murder planned and carried out usually by a member of an underworld syndicate.
To pay unsolicited romantic attention to: can’t go into a bar lately without being hit on.
To approach and ask (someone) for something, especially for money: tried to hit me up for a loan.
To be successful: investors who hit it big on the stock market.
To get along well together.
To study, especially with concentrated effort.
To engage in drinking alcoholic beverages.
To go on strike.
To have serious, usually adverse consequences.
To begin a venture with great energy, involvement, and competence.
To go to bed: hit the hay well before midnight.
To direct attention to the most important points or places.
To become highly and unexpectedly successful, especially to win a great deal of money.
To be absolutely right.
To set out, as on a trip; leave.
To express anger, especially vehemently.
To give total or desired satisfaction, as food or drink.
1. To become suddenly and extremely fatigued, especially when participating in an endurance sport, such as running.
2. To lose effectiveness suddenly or come to an end: The stock rally hit the wall when interest rates rose.
[Middle English hitten, from Old English hyttan, from Old Norse hitta.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.