hard hit, be

Be adversely affected or be severely stricken, as in The walk-in clinics were hard hit by the new insurance laws. This idiom must be differentiated from the similar-sounding adjective hard-hitting, alluding to strenuous exertion, as in They were a hard-hitting team. [Second half of 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.