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make a hit

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1

Also, be a hit. Achieve (or be) a success, especially a popular one, as in She made a big hit in this performance, or In out-of-town tryouts the play was already a hit. This seemingly modern term, which transfers the literal meaning of hit as “a stroke or blow,” has been around since the early 1800s. It was used then, as now, for theatrical performances, books, songs, and the like

2

In underworld slang, commit a murder, as in Known for his deadly accuracy, he was about to make his third hit. This usage also has been extended to such terms as hit list, a roster of persons to be killed, and hit man, a killer who is usually hired by someone else. [Second half of 1900s]

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

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