Nearby words

  1. histotrophic,
  2. histotropic,
  3. histrionic,
  4. histrionic personality disorder,
  5. histrionics,
  6. hit a snag,
  7. hit batsman,
  8. hit below the belt,
  9. hit between the eyes,
  10. hit bottom


Origin of hit

before 1100; 1865–70, Americanism for def 5a; Middle English hitten, Old English hittan; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse hitta to come upon (by chance), meet with

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See strike, beat. 25, 27, 29. See blow1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hit out

hit out

verb (intr, adverb often foll by at)

to direct blows forcefully and vigorously
to make a verbal attack (upon someone)


verb hits, hitting or hit (mainly tr)

(also intr) to deal (a blow or stroke) to (a person or thing); strikethe man hit the child
to come into violent contact withthe car hit the tree
to reach or strike with a missile, thrown object, etcto hit a target
to make or cause to make forceful contact; knock or bumpI hit my arm on the table
to propel or cause to move by strikingto hit a ball
cricket to score (runs)
to affect (a person, place, or thing) suddenly or adverselyhis illness hit his wife very hard
to become suddenly apparent to (a person)the reason for his behaviour hit me and made the whole episode clear
to achieve or reachto hit the jackpot; unemployment hit a new high
to experience or encounterI've hit a slight snag here
slang to murder (a rival criminal) in fulfilment of an underworld contract or vendetta
to accord or suit (esp in the phrase hit one's fancy)
to guess correctly or find out by accidentyou have hit the answer
informal to set out on (a road, path, etc)let's hit the road
informal to arrive or appear inhe will hit town tomorrow night
informal, mainly US and Canadian to demand or request fromhe hit me for a pound
slang to drink an excessive amount of (alcohol)to hit the bottle
hit it music slang start playing
hit skins US slang to have sexual intercourse
hit the sack or hit the hay slang to go to bed
not know what has hit one to be completely taken by surprise


an impact or collision
a shot, blow, etc, that reaches its object
an apt, witty, or telling remark
  1. a person or thing that gains wide appealshe's a hit with everyone
  2. (as modifier)a hit record
informal a stroke of luck
  1. a murder carried out as the result of an underworld vendetta or rivalry
  2. (as modifier)a hit squad
slang a drag on a cigarette, a swig from a bottle, a line of a drug, or an injection of heroin
computing a single visit to a website
make a hit with or score a hit with informal to make a favourable impression on

Word Origin for hit

Old English hittan, from Old Norse hitta

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hit out
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hit out

hit out

Make a violent verbal or physical attack; also, strike aimlessly. For example, The star hit out at the press for their lukewarm reviews, or The therapist said patients often hit out in frustration. [First half of 1800s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with hit

  • hit a snag
  • hit below the belt
  • hit between the eyes
  • hit bottom
  • hit it big
  • hit it off
  • hit on
  • hit on all cylinders
  • hit one's stride
  • hit one where one lives
  • hit or miss
  • hit out
  • hit parade
  • hit the books
  • hit the bottle
  • hit the bricks
  • hit the bull's-eye
  • hit the ceiling
  • hit the deck
  • hit the fan
  • hit the ground running
  • hit the hay
  • hit the high spots
  • hit the jackpot
  • hit the mark
  • hit the nail on the head
  • hit the road
  • hit the roof
  • hit the sack
  • hit the spot
  • hit up for
  • hit upon

also see:

  • (hit) below the belt
  • can't hit the broad side of a barn
  • heavy hitter
  • make a hit
  • pinch hitter
  • smash hit
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.