to deal a blow or stroke to (a person or thing), as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer; hit.
to inflict, deliver, or deal (a blow, stroke, attack, etc.).
to drive so as to cause impact: to strike the hands together.
to thrust forcibly: Brutus struck a dagger into the dying Caesar.
to produce (fire, sparks, light, etc.) by percussion, friction, etc.
to cause (a match) to ignite by friction.
(of some natural or supernatural agency) to smite or blast: Lightning struck the spire. May God strike you dead!
to come into forcible contact or collision with; hit into or against: The ship struck a rock.
to reach or fall upon (the senses), as light or sound: A shrill peal of bells struck their ears.
to enter the mind of; occur to: A happy thought struck him.
to catch or arrest (the sight, hearing, etc.): the first object that strikes one's eye.
to impress strongly: a picture that strikes one's fancy.
to impress in a particular manner: How does it strike you?
to come across, meet with, or encounter suddenly or unexpectedly: to strike the name of a friend in a newspaper.
to come upon or find (oil, ore, etc.) in drilling, prospecting, or the like.
to send down or put forth (a root), as a plant or cutting.
to arrive at or achieve by or as by balancing: to strike a balance; to strike a compromise.
to take apart or pull down (a structure or object, as a tent).
to remove from the stage (the scenery and properties of an act or scene): to strike a set.
to lower or take down (a sail, mast, etc.).
to lower (a sail, flag, etc.) as a salute or as a sign of surrender.
to lower (something) into the hold of a vessel by means of a rope and tackle.
Falconry. to loosen (a hood) from the head of a hawk so that it may be instantly removed.
to hook (a fish that has taken the bait) by making a sharp jerk on the line.
(of a fish) to snatch at (the bait).
to harpoon (a whale).
(in technical use) to make level or smooth.
to make level or even, as a measure of grain or salt, by drawing a strickle across the top.
to efface, cancel, or cross out, with or as with the stroke of a pen (usually followed by out): to strike a passage out of a book.
to impress or stamp (a coin, medal, etc.) by printing or punching: to strike a medal in commemoration.
to remove or separate with or as if with a cut (usually followed by off): Illness struck him off from social contacts. The butcher struck off a chop.
Masonry. to finish (a mortar joint) with a stroke of the trowel.
to indicate (the hour of day) by a stroke or strokes, as a clock: to strike 12.
to afflict suddenly, as with disease, suffering, or death (often followed by down): The plague struck Europe. Apoplexy struck him down.
to overwhelm emotionally, as with terror or fear; affect deeply.
to make blind, dumb, etc., suddenly, as if by a blow.
to implant or induce (a feeling): to strike fear into a person.
to start or move suddenly into (vigorous movement): The horse struck a gallop.
to assume (an attitude or posture): He likes to strike a noble pose.
to cause (chill, warmth, etc.) to pass or penetrate quickly.
to come upon or reach in traveling or in a course of procedure: We struck Rome before dark.
to make, conclude, or ratify (an agreement, treaty, etc.).
to estimate or determine (a mean or average).
to leave off (work) or stop (working) as a coercive measure, or as at the close of the day.
(of a union or union member)
to declare or engage in a suspension of (work) until an employer grants certain demands, such as pay increases, an improved pension plan, etc.
to declare or engage in a suspension of work against (a factory, employer, industry, etc.) until certain demands are met.
to draw (a straight line); paint the edge of an area with (a regular, usually straight line).
Law. to choose (a jury) from a panel by striking off names until only the required number remains.
to deal or aim a blow or stroke, as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer.
to make an attack, especially a planned military assault: Our troops struck at dawn.
to knock, rap, or tap.
to hit or dash on or against something, as a moving body does; come into forcible contact; collide.
to run upon a bank, rock, or other obstacle, as a ship does.
to fall, as light or sound does (followed by on or upon).
to make an impression on the mind, senses, etc., as something seen or heard.
to come suddenly or unexpectedly (usually followed by on or upon): to strike on a new way of doing a thing.
to sound by percussion: The clock strikes.
to be indicated by or as by such percussion: The hour has struck.
to ignite or be ignited by friction, as a match.
to make a stroke, as with the arms or legs in swimming or with an oar in rowing.
to produce a sound, music, etc., by touching a string or playing upon an instrument.
to take root, as a slip of a plant.
to go, proceed, or advance, especially in a new direction: They struck out at dawn. They struck toward a new town.
U.S. Army. to act as a voluntary paid servant to a commissioned officer.
U.S. Navy. to work hard: strive (followed by for): He is striking for yeoman.
(of a union or union member) to engage in a suspension of work until an employer or industry meets certain demands.
to lower the flag or colors, especially as a salute or as a sign of surrender.
to run up the white flag of surrender.
Angling. (of fish) to swallow or take the bait.
an act or instance of striking.
a concerted stopping of work or withdrawal of workers' services, as to compel an employer to accede to workers' demands or in protest against terms or conditions imposed by an employer.
a temporary stoppage of something.
Also called strike plate. a metal plate on a jamb holding the bolt of the lock on a door when closed.
a pitch that is swung at and missed by the batter.
a pitch that passes through the strike zone and is not swung at by the batter.
a foul tip caught by the catcher when there are already two strikes against the batter.
a foul bunt when there are already two strikes against the batter.
a ball hit foul and not caught on the fly when there are less than two strikes against the batter.
the knocking down of all of the pins with the first bowl.
the score so made.: Compare spare (def. 22).
Horology. the striking mechanism of a timepiece.
Brewing. the degree of excellence or strength of beer, ale, etc.
a sharp jerk on the line, made in order to set the hook in the mouth of the fish.
a pull on the line, made by the fish in the process of taking the bait.
Coining. a quantity of coins struck at one time.
the direction of the line formed by the intersection of the bedding plane of a bed or stratum of sedimentary rock with a horizontal plane.
the direction or trend of a structural feature, as an anticlinal axis or the lineation resulting from metamorphism.
the discovery of a rich vein or ore in mining, of petroleum in boring, etc.
Military. a planned attack, especially by aircraft, on a target.
Military. describing a fighter-bomber aircraft designed to carry large payloads at high speeds and low altitudes and also to engage in air-to-air combat.
strike in, to interrupt suddenly; intervene: I struck in with a suggestion.
Printing. to print: They struck off 300 copies of the book.
to remove or cancel, as from a record, list, etc.: His name was struck off the waiting list.
to produce rapidly and easily: She struck off several letters and had no more work to do.
to depart rapidly: We struck off for the country.
Baseball. to put out or be put out by a strike-out: The pitcher walked two and struck out three. He struck out twice in three times at bat.
(of a person or effort) to fail: His next two business ventures struck out.
to lose favor.
to erase; cross out.
to set forth; venture forth: She struck out on her own at the age of 18.
to begin to play or to sing: The orchestra struck up a waltz.
to set in operation; begin: Strike up the band!
to bring into being; commence; begin: to strike up an acquaintance with new neighbors.
Idioms about strike
have two strikes against one, to be in an unfavorable or a critical position: His age and his lack of education are two strikes against him in his search for a job.
on strike, engaged in a stoppage of work, services, or other activities, as by union workers to get better wages.
strike camp, to dismantle and pack up equipment; prepare to move on; break camp: The army struck camp and moved on.
strike hands, to conclude a bargain, as by shaking or joining hands; confirm an agreement: They reached a price satisfactory to both of them, and struck hands on it.
to deal an effective blow, hit a vulnerable part, or wound critically or mortally: The second arrow struck home.
to have the intended effect; hit the mark: The sermon on Christian charity struck home.
strike it rich,
to come upon a valuable mineral or oil deposit.
to have sudden or unexpected financial success: She struck it rich in real estate.
strike oil. oil (def. 18).
- strikeless, adjective
- an·ti·strike, adjective
- non·strike, adjective
- outstrike, verb (used with object), out·struck, out·struck or out·strick·en, out·strik·ing.
- post·strike, adjective
- pre·strike, adjective, verb, pre·struck, pre·struck or pre·strick·en, pre·strik·ing.
- pro·strike, adjective
- un·der·strike, verb (used with object), un·der·struck, un·der·struck or un·der·strick·en, un·der·strik·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use strike in a sentence
For months before the pandemic struck, I was commuting to work by foot.
One officer then discharged his service weapon, striking Chavez, who fell to the ground.4 Houston Cops Who Shot And Killed Nicolas Chavez Fired | Hope Wright | September 11, 2020 | Essence.com
After I spoke with Foxworth, the New York City teachers union decided to not strike, after the city agreed to delay in-person learning by 11 days.Why Can’t Schools Get What the N.F.L. Has? (Ep. 431) | Stephen J. Dubner | September 10, 2020 | Freakonomics
The last thing the Bucks can afford to do now is strike out looking.The Bucks Played It Safe And Made The Wrong Kind Of History | Chris Herring (email@example.com) | September 9, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
In 2017, when Hurricane Maria struck, his nonprofit organization Waves for Water went to work.
The influential al Qaeda propagandist, who was born in New Mexico, died in a U.S. drone strike later that year.
Should lightning strike and Hillary Clinton forgoes a presidential run, Democrats have a nominee in waiting.Sen. Warren’s Main Street Crusade to Pressure Clinton | Eleanor Clift | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
A senior Iranian official in Pakistan later confirmed the strike took place, declining to elaborate.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan | Umar Farooq | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Saleem believes that the strike came from a nearby airbase across the Iranian border.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan | Umar Farooq | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Leave it to Katniss to cut through a story with one perfectly aimed strike.Jennifer Lawrence’s Righteous Fury Says Everything We Wanted to Say | Kevin O’Keeffe | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The heir apparent and his brothers were cowering in fear, afraid to strike, yet hoping that others would strike for them.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
On this the royal band of music would strike up its liveliest airs, and a great bell would toll its evening warning.Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
It is much easier to strike quickly than slowly, but practice in the slow movement will develop both muscular and nervous power.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
Not while I had the open prairie underfoot and the summer sky above, and hands to strike a blow or pull a trigger.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
(Thoughtfully to himself) I wonder how a rough scenario would strike the managers.First Plays | A. A. Milne
British Dictionary definitions for strike
to deliver (a blow or stroke) to (a person)
to come or cause to come into sudden or violent contact (with)
(tr) to make an attack on
to produce (fire, sparks, etc) or (of fire, sparks, etc) to be produced by ignition
to cause (a match) to light by friction or (of a match) to be lighted
to press (the key of a piano, organ, etc) or to sound (a specific note) in this or a similar way
to indicate (a specific time) by the sound of a hammer striking a bell or by any other percussive sound
(of a venomous snake) to cause injury by biting
(tr) to affect or cause to affect deeply, suddenly, or radically, as if by dealing a blow: her appearance struck him as strange; I was struck on his art
past participle struck or stricken (tr; passive usually foll by with) to render incapable or nearly so: she was stricken with grief
(tr) to enter the mind of: it struck me that he had become very quiet
past participle struck or stricken to render: I was struck dumb
(tr) to be perceived by; catch: the glint of metal struck his eye
to arrive at or come upon (something), esp suddenly or unexpectedly: to strike the path for home; to strike upon a solution
(intr sometimes foll by out) to set (out) or proceed, esp upon a new course: to strike for the coast
(tr; usually passive) to afflict with a disease, esp unexpectedly: he was struck with polio when he was six
(tr) to discover or come upon a source of (ore, petroleum, etc)
(tr) (of a plant) to produce or send down (a root or roots)
(tr) to take apart or pack up; break (esp in the phrase strike camp)
(tr) to take down or dismantle (a stage set, formwork, etc)
to lower or remove (a specified piece of gear)
to haul down or dip (a flag, sail, etc) in salute or in surrender
to lower (cargo, etc) into the hold of a ship
to attack (an objective) with the intention of causing damage to, seizing, or destroying it
to impale the hook in the mouth of (a fish) by suddenly tightening or jerking the line after the bait or fly has been taken
(tr) to form or impress (a coin, metal, etc) by or as if by stamping
to level (a surface) by use of a flat board
(tr) to assume or take up (an attitude, posture, etc)
(intr) (of workers in a factory, etc) to cease work collectively as a protest against working conditions, low pay, etc
(tr) to reach by agreement: to strike a bargain
(tr) to form (a jury, esp a special jury) by cancelling certain names among those nominated for jury service until only the requisite number remains: See also special jury
(tr) rowing to make (a certain number of strokes) per minute: Oxford were striking 38
to make a stroke or kick in swimming
(tr) (in Malaysia) to win (a lottery or raffle)
to deliver an effective blow
to achieve the intended effect
strike it lucky or strike lucky to have some good luck
strike it rich informal
to discover an extensive deposit of a mineral, petroleum, etc
to have an unexpected financial success
an act or instance of striking
a cessation of work by workers in a factory, industry, etc, as a protest against working conditions or low pay: the workers are on strike again
a military attack, esp an air attack on a surface target: air strike
baseball a pitched ball judged good but missed or not swung at, three of which cause a batter to be out
Also called: ten-strike tenpin bowling
the act or an instance of knocking down all the pins with the first bowl of a single frame
the score thus made: Compare spare (def. 17)
a sound made by striking
the mechanism that makes a clock strike
the discovery of a source of ore, petroleum, etc
the horizontal direction of a fault, rock stratum, etc, which is perpendicular to the direction of the dip
angling the act or an instance of striking
the number of coins or medals made at one time
another name for strickle (def. 1)
informal an unexpected or complete success, esp one that brings financial gain
take strike cricket (of a batsman) to prepare to play a ball delivered by the bowler
- strikeless, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for strike
The course or bearing of a structural surface, such as an inclined bed or a fault plane, as it intersects a horizontal plane. See illustration at dip.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for strike
A concerted refusal by employees in a particular business or industry to work. Its goal is usually to force employers to meet demands respecting wages and other working conditions.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with strike
In addition to the idioms beginning with strike
- strike a balance
- strike a bargain
- strike a chord
- strike a happy medium
- strike down
- strike it rich
- strike out
- strike the right note
- strike while the iron is hot
- go out (on strike)
- happy medium, strike a
- lightning never strikes twice
- on strike
- two strikes against
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.