At its most basic, strike means to hit. If you strike someone, you hit them with your hand or a weapon. If lightning strikes, it makes contact. If you strike out on a trip, you're "hitting" the road. If you strike gold, you've "struck it rich"!

Strike can also mean not to hit, as in miss –– as in "three strikes and you're out." That meaning might have evolved from strike meaning to cross off, as in "If you don't come to practice, coach will strike your name from the starting lineup." It might also have led to the idea of a labor strike. If employees want to protest their work conditions, they go on strike, or refuse to work until conditions improve.

Definitions of strike
  1. verb
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
    “the opponent refused to strike
    collide with, hit, impinge on, run into
    hit against; come into sudden contact with
    see moresee less
    show 36 types...
    hide 36 types...
    strike or punch with quick and short blows
    dab, pat
    hit lightly
    bunt, butt
    to strike, thrust or shove against
    knock, strike hard
    deliver a sharp blow or push :"He knocked the glass clear across the room"
    cut down, down, knock down, pull down, push down
    cause to come or go down
    strike with a spur
    beak, peck, pick
    hit lightly with a picking motion
    tap, tip
    strike lightly
    strike with an axe; cut down, strike
    strike from the side
    lash, whip
    strike as if by whipping
    hit repeatedly
    strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music
    strike (the ground) in making a sclaff
    strike hard, especially with the fist
    knap, rap
    strike sharply
    strike sharply, as in some sports
    hit with something flat, like a paddle or the open hand
    strike (a golf ball) such that the ground is scraped first
    batter, buffet, knock about
    strike against forcefully
    butt with the head
    bring down with a blow to the legs
    strike or tap firmly
    hew jaggedly
    beat for the purpose of cleaning and thickening
    strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
    beat with a beetle
    beat somebody on the soles of the feet
    coldcock, deck, dump, floor, knock down
    knock down with force
    beat with force
    hit with the fists
    rap with the knuckles
    thrash, thresh
    beat the seeds out of a grain
    beat with or as if with a hammer
    cuff, whomp
    hit with the hand
    whip with or as with nettles
    type of:
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
  2. verb
    hit against; come into sudden contact with
    “He struck the table with his elbow”
    synonyms: collide with, hit, impinge on, run into
    see moresee less
    fail to reach
    show 17 types...
    hide 17 types...
    strike (one's toe) accidentally against an object
    hit with a pinging noise
    bang, spang
    leap, jerk, bang
    collide with the rear end of
    collide with the broad side of
    land on or hit solidly
    strike with a sound like that of falling rain
    strike with a dull sound
    strike the ground, as with a ship's bottom
    bottom out
    hit the ground
    bump, knock
    knock against with force or violence
    bump into, butt against, jar against, knock against, run into
    collide violently with an obstacle
    clash, collide
    crash together with violent impact
    hit at an angle
    collide or strike violently and suddenly
    collide violently
    crash, ram
    undergo damage or destruction on impact
    type of:
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
  3. verb
    drive something violently into a location
    “she struck her head on the low ceiling”
    synonyms: hit
    see moresee less
    hit violently
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  4. verb
    pierce with force
    “The icy wind struck through our coats”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  5. verb
    make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target
    “The Germans struck Poland on Sept. 1, 1939”
    “We must strike the enemy's oil fields”
    “in the fifth inning, the Giants struck, sending three runners home to win the game 5 to 2”
    synonyms: hit
    hit, pip, shoot
    hit with a missile from a weapon
    affect or afflict suddenly, usually adversely
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    hit a ball so that it causes a backspin
    hit sharply
    strike a ball with a smooth blow
    retaliate, strike back
    make a counterattack and return like for like, especially evil for evil
    type of:
    assail, attack
    launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
  6. verb
    affect or afflict suddenly, usually adversely
    “The earthquake struck at midnight”
    synonyms: hit
    make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target
    see moresee less
    type of:
    affect, bear on, bear upon, impact, touch, touch on
    have an effect upon
  7. verb
    cause to experience suddenly
    “Panic struck me”
    “The thought struck terror in our minds”
    “They were struck with fear”
    synonyms: come to, hit
    affect, impress, move
    have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
  8. verb
    touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly
    “The light struck the golden necklace”
    “A strange sound struck my ears”
    synonyms: fall, shine
  9. verb
    have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
    “This behavior struck me as odd”
    synonyms: affect, impress, move
    actuate, incentivize, incite, motivate, move, prompt, propel
    give an incentive for action
    come to, hit
    cause to experience suddenly
    see moresee less
    show 32 types...
    hide 32 types...
    affect in a contagious way
    cause to be surprised
    impress, ingrain, instill
    produce or try to produce a vivid impression of
    make aware
    impress or affect deeply
    strike dumb
    render speechless, as by surprising or shocking
    strike suddenly and with force
    affect in a disagreeable way
    hit home, strike a chord, strike a note, strike home
    refer to or be relevant or familiar to
    affect suddenly with deep feeling
    make gloomy or depressed
    move or affect (a person's emotions or bodily feelings) deeply or sharply
    impress positively
    sweep away, sweep off
    overwhelm emotionally
    disturb, trouble, upset
    move deeply
    stir, touch
    affect emotionally
    arouse sympathy or compassion in
    make unhappy
    make withdrawn or isolated or emotionally dissociated
    amaze, astonish, astound
    affect with wonder
    explode a bombshell
    utter or do something surprising
    discover or come upon accidentally, suddenly, or unexpectedly; catch somebody doing something or in a certain state
    boggle, bowl over, flabbergast
    overcome with amazement
    agitate, charge, charge up, commove, excite, rouse, turn on
    cause to be agitated, excited, or roused
    disturb (someone's) composure
    cark, disorder, disquiet, distract, perturb, trouble, unhinge
    disturb in mind or make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed
    make a positive impression (on someone) beforehand
    impress greatly
    evoke an emotional response
    cause mental pain to
    ball over, blow out of the water, floor, shock, startle, take aback
    surprise greatly; knock someone's socks off
    weigh down, weigh on
    be oppressive or disheartening to
  10. verb
    “The horse finally struck a pace”
    synonyms: come to
    see moresee less
    type of:
    accomplish, achieve, attain, reach
    gain with effort
  11. verb
    arrive at after reckoning, deliberating, and weighing
    strike a balance”
    strike a bargain”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    figure out, lick, puzzle out, solve, work, work out
    find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
  12. verb
    occupy or take on
    strike a pose”
    synonyms: assume, take, take up
    fill, occupy, take
    assume, as of positions or roles
    see moresee less
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  13. verb
    find unexpectedly
    “she struck a goldmine”
    “The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake”
    synonyms: attain, chance on, chance upon, come across, come upon, discover, fall upon, happen upon, light upon
    see moresee less
    type of:
    find, regain
    come upon after searching; find the location of something that was missed or lost
  14. verb
    produce by manipulating keys or strings of musical instruments, also metaphorically
    “The pianist strikes a middle C”
    strike `z' on the keyboard”
    “her comments struck a sour note”
    synonyms: hit
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
  15. verb
    form by stamping, punching, or printing
    strike a medal”
    synonyms: coin, mint
  16. verb
    produce by ignition or a blow
    strike fire from the flintstone”
    strike a match”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    create, make
    make or cause to be or to become
  17. verb
    cause to form (an electric arc) between electrodes of an arc lamp
    strike an arc”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    form, shape
    give shape or form to
  18. verb
    remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line
    “Please strike this remark from the record”
    synonyms: excise, expunge, scratch
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cancel, delete
    remove or make invisible
  19. verb
    indicate (a certain time) by striking
    “The clock struck midnight”
    “Just when I entered, the clock struck
    see moresee less
    type of:
    read, record, register, show
    indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments
  20. verb
    smooth with a strickle
    synonyms: strickle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    even, even out, flush, level
    make level or straight
  21. noun
    an attack that is intended to seize or inflict damage on or destroy an objective
    “the strike was scheduled to begin at dawn”
    see moresee less
    first strike
    the initial use of nuclear weapons to attack a country that also has nuclear weapons; considered feasible only when the attacker can destroy the other country's ability to retaliate
    surgical strike
    an attack (usually without prior warning) intended to deal only with a specific target
    preventive attack, preventive strike
    a strike that is carried out in order to deter expected aggression by hostile forces
    type of:
    attack, onrush, onset, onslaught
    (military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)
  22. noun
    a gentle blow
    synonyms: rap, tap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    blow, bump
    an impact (as from a collision)
  23. noun
    a conspicuous success
    synonyms: bang, hit, smash, smasher
    see moresee less
    blockbuster, megahit, smash hit
    an unusually successful hit with widespread popularity and huge sales (especially a movie or play or recording or novel)
    an unexpected hit
    type of:
    an attainment that is successful
  24. verb
    stop work in order to press demands
    “The auto workers are striking for higher wages”
    synonyms: walk out
    see moresee less
    type of:
    dissent, protest, resist
    express opposition through action or words
  25. noun
    a group's refusal to work in protest against low pay or bad work conditions
    “the strike lasted more than a month before it was settled”
    synonyms: work stoppage
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    sit-down, sit-down strike
    a strike in which workers refuse to leave the workplace until a settlement is reached
    sympathetic strike, sympathy strike
    a strike in support of other workers who are on strike; a strike not resulting from direct grievances against the workers' employer
    a strike in which the workers walk out
    wildcat strike
    a strike undertaken by workers without approval from the officials of their union
    type of:
    job action
    a temporary action by workers to protest management decision or to make demands
  26. noun
    a score in tenpins: knocking down all ten with the first ball
    “he finished with three strikes in the tenth frame”
    synonyms: ten-strike
    see moresee less
    type of:
    the act of scoring in a game or sport
  27. noun
    (baseball) a pitch that the batter swings at and misses, or that the batter hits into foul territory, or that the batter does not swing at but the umpire judges to be in the area over home plate and between the batter's knees and shoulders
    “this pitcher throws more strikes than balls”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    delivery, pitch
    (baseball) the act of throwing a baseball by a pitcher to a batter
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week