Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To hit sharply, as with the hand, the fist, or a weapon.
  • transitive v. To inflict (a blow).
  • transitive v. To penetrate or pierce: was struck in the leg by a bullet.
  • transitive v. To collide with or crash into: She struck the desk with her knee.
  • transitive v. To cause to come into violent or forceful contact: She struck her knee against the desk.
  • transitive v. To thrust (a weapon, for example) in or into someone or something: struck the sword into the dragon.
  • transitive v. To damage or destroy, as by forceful contact: Lightning struck the tree.
  • transitive v. To make a military attack on; assault.
  • transitive v. To afflict suddenly, as with a disease or impairment: was stricken with cancer.
  • transitive v. To cause to become by or as if by a blow: struck him dead.
  • transitive v. To snap at or seize (a bait).
  • transitive v. To hook (a fish that has taken the bait) by a pull on the line.
  • transitive v. To wound by biting. Used especially of a snake.
  • transitive v. To form by stamping, printing, or punching: strike a medallion.
  • transitive v. To produce or play by manipulating strings or keys: strike a B flat; strike w, t, and y on the typewriter.
  • transitive v. To indicate by a percussive or chiming sound: The clock struck nine.
  • transitive v. To produce as if by playing a musical instrument: The report struck a positive note in the final paragraph.
  • transitive v. To produce by friction or a blow: struck fire from the flints.
  • transitive v. To produce flame, light, or a spark from by friction: strike a match.
  • transitive v. To remove or separate with or as if with a blow: struck the wasp from his shoulder; struck off the diseased branch with a machete.
  • transitive v. To eliminate or expunge: strike a statement from the court records.
  • transitive v. To come upon; discover: struck gold.
  • transitive v. To come to; attain: finally struck the main trail.
  • transitive v. To fall upon; shine on: A bright light struck her face.
  • transitive v. To become audible to: An odd sound struck his ear.
  • transitive v. To affect keenly or forcibly; impress. See Synonyms at affect1.
  • transitive v. To enter the mind of: The thought struck me from out of the blue.
  • transitive v. To cause (a strong emotion) to penetrate deeply: struck terror into their hearts.
  • transitive v. To affect or overcome with strong emotion: She was struck with alarm at the news.
  • transitive v. To make and confirm the terms of (a bargain).
  • transitive v. To achieve (a balance, for example) by careful weighing or reckoning.
  • transitive v. To take on or assume (a pose, for example).
  • transitive v. Nautical To haul down (a mast or sail).
  • transitive v. Nautical To lower (a flag or sail) in salute or surrender.
  • transitive v. Nautical To lower (cargo) into a hold.
  • transitive v. To remove (theatrical properties, a set, or technical equipment) from a stage.
  • transitive v. To dismantle and pack up for departure: strike camp.
  • transitive v. To undertake a strike against (an employer).
  • transitive v. To level or even (a measure, as of grain).
  • transitive v. To smooth or shape with a strickle.
  • transitive v. To send (plant roots) out or down.
  • transitive v. To cause (a plant cutting) to take root.
  • intransitive v. To deal a blow or blows with or as if with the fist or a weapon; hit.
  • intransitive v. To aim a stroke or blow.
  • intransitive v. To make contact suddenly or violently; collide: A car and a bus struck at the intersection.
  • intransitive v. To begin a military attack: The enemy struck unexpectedly.
  • intransitive v. To penetrate or pierce: The cold struck right through our jackets.
  • intransitive v. To take bait: The fish are striking.
  • intransitive v. To dart or shoot suddenly forward in an attempt to inflict a bite or wound. Used of snakes and wild animals.
  • intransitive v. To set out or proceed, especially in a new direction: struck off into the forest.
  • intransitive v. To begin to move: The horse struck into a gallop.
  • intransitive v. To send out roots.
  • intransitive v. To sprout.
  • intransitive v. To indicate the time by making a percussive or chiming sound: The clock struck just as we left.
  • intransitive v. To become indicated by a percussive or chiming sound: The hour has struck.
  • intransitive v. To become ignited.
  • intransitive v. To discover something suddenly or unexpectedly: struck on a new approach.
  • intransitive v. To fall, as light or sound: sunlight striking on the cliffs; a din struck upon their ears.
  • intransitive v. To have an effect; make an impression.
  • intransitive v. To engage in a strike against an employer.
  • intransitive v. To interrupt by pushing oneself forward: struck rudely into the conversation.
  • intransitive v. To strive diligently for a specific technical rating in the U.S. Navy.
  • n. An act or a gesture of striking.
  • n. An attack, especially a military air attack on a single group of targets.
  • n. A cessation of work by employees in support of demands made on their employer, as for higher pay or improved conditions.
  • n. A temporary stoppage of normal activity undertaken as a protest.
  • n. A sudden achievement or valuable discovery, as of a precious mineral.
  • n. The taking of bait by a fish.
  • n. A pull on a fishing line indicating this.
  • n. A quantity of coins or medals struck at the same time.
  • n. Baseball A pitched ball that is counted against the batter, typically one that is swung at and missed, fouled off, or judged to have passed through the strike zone.
  • n. Baseball A perfectly thrown ball.
  • n. An unfavorable condition, circumstance, or characteristic; a disadvantage: "[They] were trying to sell a movie with several strikes against it as a mass-audience 'property'” ( John Sayles).
  • n. An unlawful act, especially one that results in a conviction.
  • n. Sports The knocking down of all the pins in bowling with the first bowl of a frame.
  • n. The taking root and growing of a plant cutting.
  • n. Geology The course or bearing of a structural surface, such as an inclined bed, as it intersects a horizontal plane.
  • n. The removal of all properties, sets, and technical equipment following a final performance, as of a play or concert.
  • n. A strickle.
  • strike down To cause to fall by a blow.
  • strike down To incapacitate or kill: He was struck down by tuberculosis.
  • strike down To render ineffective; cancel: The court struck down the law.
  • strike out To begin a course of action.
  • strike out To set out energetically.
  • strike out To pitch three strikes to (a batter), putting the batter out.
  • strike out To be struck out.
  • strike out To fail in an endeavor.
  • strike up To start to play music or sing: The band suddenly struck up.
  • strike up To start to play or sing (something): The orchestra struck up a waltz.
  • strike up To cause to start to play or sing: Strike up the band!
  • strike up To initiate or begin: strike up a conversation.
  • idiom on strike Engaged in a work stoppage: Most of the employees were on strike.
  • idiom strike hands To conclude a bargain or reach an agreement.
  • idiom strike it rich Informal To have sudden financial success.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To delete or cross out; to scratch or eliminate.
  • v. To hit.
  • v. To carry out a violent or illegal action.
  • v. To occur suddenly.
  • v. To stop working to achieve better working conditions.
  • v. To impress, seem or appear (to).
  • v. To manufacture, as by stamping.
  • v. To take down, especially in the following contexts:
  • v. Of a clock, to announce (an hour of the day), usually by one or more sounds.
  • n. a status resulting from a batter swinging and missing a pitch, or not swinging at a pitch in the strike zone, or hitting a foul ball that is not caught
  • n. the act of knocking down all ten pins in on the first roll of a frame
  • n. a work stoppage (or otherwise concerted stoppage of an activity) as a form of protest
  • n. a blow or application of physical force against something
  • n. In an option contract, the price at which the holder buys or sells if they choose to exercise the option.
  • n. An old English measure of corn equal to the bushel.
  • n. the status of being the batsman that the bowler is bowling at
  • n. the primary face of a hammer, opposite the peen
  • n. the compass direction of the line of intersection between a rock layer and the surface of the Earth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To touch or hit with some force, either with the hand or with an instrument; to smite; to give a blow to, either with the hand or with any instrument or missile.
  • transitive v. To come in collision with; to strike against.
  • transitive v. To give, as a blow; to impel, as with a blow; to give a force to; to dash; to cast.
  • transitive v. To stamp or impress with a stroke; to coin.
  • transitive v. To thrust in; to cause to enter or penetrate; to set in the earth.
  • transitive v. To punish; to afflict; to smite.
  • transitive v. To cause to sound by one or more beats; to indicate or notify by audible strokes.
  • transitive v. To lower; to let or take down; to remove.
  • transitive v. To make a sudden impression upon, as by a blow; to affect sensibly with some strong emotion.
  • transitive v. To affect in some particular manner by a sudden impression or impulse.
  • transitive v. To cause or produce by a stroke, or suddenly, as by a stroke.
  • transitive v. To cause to ignite.
  • transitive v. To make and ratify.
  • transitive v. To take forcibly or fraudulently.
  • transitive v. To level, as a measure of grain, salt, or the like, by scraping off with a straight instrument what is above the level of the top.
  • transitive v. To cut off, as a mortar joint, even with the face of the wall, or inward at a slight angle.
  • transitive v. To hit upon, or light upon, suddenly.
  • transitive v. To borrow money of; to make a demand upon.
  • transitive v. To lade into a cooler, as a liquor.
  • transitive v. To stroke or pass lightly; to wave.
  • transitive v. To advance; to cause to go forward; -- used only in past participle.
  • intransitive v. To move; to advance; to proceed; to take a course.
  • intransitive v. To deliver a quick blow or thrust; to give blows.
  • intransitive v. To hit; to collide; to dush; to clash.
  • intransitive v. To sound by percussion, with blows, or as with blows; to be struck.
  • intransitive v. To make an attack; to aim a blow.
  • intransitive v. To touch; to act by appulse.
  • intransitive v. To run upon a rock or bank; to be stranded.
  • intransitive v. To pass with a quick or strong effect; to dart; to penetrate.
  • intransitive v. To break forth; to commence suddenly; -- with into.
  • intransitive v. To lower a flag, or colors, in token of respect, or to signify a surrender of a ship to an enemy.
  • intransitive v. To quit work in order to compel an increase, or prevent a reduction, of wages.
  • intransitive v. To become attached to something; -- said of the spat of oysters.
  • intransitive v. To steal money.
  • n. The act of striking.
  • n. An instrument with a straight edge for leveling a measure of grain, salt, and the like, scraping off what is above the level of the top; a strickle.
  • n. A bushel; four pecks.
  • n. An old measure of four bushels.
  • n. Fullness of measure; hence, excellence of quality.
  • n. An iron pale or standard in a gate or fence.
  • n. The act of quitting work; specifically, such an act by a body of workmen, usually organized by a labor union, done as a means of enforcing compliance with demands made on their employer.
  • n. A puddler's stirrer.
  • n. The horizontal direction of the outcropping edges of tilted rocks; or, the direction of a horizontal line supposed to be drawn on the surface of a tilted stratum. It is at right angles to the dip.
  • n. The extortion of money, or the attempt to extort money, by threat of injury; blackmailing.
  • n. A sudden finding of rich ore in mining; hence, any sudden success or good fortune, esp. financial.
  • n. The act of leveling all the pins with the first bowl; also, the score thus made. Sometimes called double spare. Throwing a strike entitles the player to add to the score for that frame the total number of pins knocked down in the next two bowls.
  • n. Any actual or constructive striking at the pitched ball, three of which, if the ball is not hit fairly, cause the batter to be put out; hence, any of various acts or events which are ruled as equivalent to such a striking, as failing to strike at a ball so pitched that the batter should have struck at it.
  • n. Same as Ten-strike.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To go; proceed; advance; in modern use, especially, to go or move suddenly, or with a sudden turn.
  • To flow; glide; run.
  • To pass with sudden quickness and effect; dart; pierce.
  • To come suddenly or unexpectedly.
  • To run or extend in any particular direction, especially with reference to the points of the compass: a word used chiefly by geologists in speaking of the strata, or of stratified masses, but also by miners in indicating the position of the lode or vein. The latter, however, generally use run in preference to strike.
  • To lower a sail, a flag, or colors in token of respect; hence, to surrender, as to a superior or an enemy; yield.
  • To touch; glance; graze; impinge by appulse.
  • To run a ground or a shore; run upon a bank, rock, or other obstacle; strand: as, the ship struck at midnight.
  • To inflict a blow, stroke, or thrust; attack: as, to strike in the dark.
  • To hit; beat; tap: as, the hammer strikes on the bell of a clock.
  • To sound by percussion, with or as with blows; be struck: as, the clock strikes.
  • To use one's weapons; deal blows; fight: as, to strike for one's country.
  • To press a claim or demand by coercive or threatening action of some kind; in common usage, to quit work along with others, in order to compel an employer to accede to some demand, as for increase of pay, or to protest against something, as a reduction of wages: as, to strike for higher pay or shorter hours of work.
  • To steal, as by pocket-picking.
  • To give the last plowing before the seed is sown.
  • To take root, as a slip of a plant.
  • To fasten to stones, shells, etc., as young oysters; become fixed or set.
  • To move with friction; grate; creak.
  • In the United States army, to perform menial services for an officer; act as an officer's servant: generally said of an enlisted man detailed for that duty.
  • To become saturated with salt, as fish in the process of pickling or curing.
  • To run; change or fade, as colors of goods in washing or cleaning.
  • To refuse to lead, as fish when, instead of following close along the leader and passing into the bowl of the weir, they retreat from the net, and with a sweep double the whole weir.
  • To put in one's word suddenly; interpose; interrupt.
  • To begin; set about.
  • To fall in; conform; join or unite.
  • To arrive; come in; make for the shore: said of fish.
  • To turn into quickly or abruptly; betake one's self to in haste.
  • To direct one's course, as in swimming: as, to strike out for the shore.
  • To make a sudden move or excursion: as, to strike out into an irregular course of life.
  • In base-ball, to be put out because of failure to strike the ball after a certain number of trials: said of the batter.
  • To make acquaintance; become associated: with with.
  • To pass the hand over lightly; stroke: as, to strike the beard or hair.
  • To pass lightly as in stroking.
  • To make level or even, as a measure of grain, salt, etc., by drawing a strickle or straight-edge along the top, or, in the case of potatoes, by seeking to make the projections equal to the depressions: as, to strike a bushel of wheat; a struck or striked as distinguished from a heaped measure.
  • To balance the accounts in.
  • To lower or dip; let, take, or haul down: as, to strike the topmasts; to strike a flag, as in token of surrender or salute; to strike or lower anything below decks.
  • To take down or apart; pack up and remove; fold: as, to strike a tent; to strike a scene on the stage of a theater.
  • To lade into a cooler, as cane-juice in sugar-making.
  • To dab; rub; smear; anoint.
  • To efface with a stroke of a pen; erase; remove from a record as being rejected, erroneous, or obsolete: with away, out, off, etc.: as, to strike out an item in an account.

Etymologies

Middle English striken, from Old English strīcan, to stroke.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English strīcan, from Proto-Germanic *strīkanan. Cognate with Dutch strijken, German streichen and streiken, Icelandic strýkja, strýkva. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • This is also a phrase that lighting people (on stage or more often film) will shout to warn everyone before turning on bright lights.

    May 14, 2008

  • Writers, producers
    May be nearing a new pact.
    This is a good thing?

    -- Producers Say Writers Could Return on Monday, The New York Times, Feb. 9, 2008

    February 9, 2008

  • An expression my sister uses - "Strike!" - to convey surprise or amazement.

    August 27, 2007

  • Contronymic in the sense: hit vs. miss (as in "strike three").

    January 27, 2007