Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


But I kept looking and after awhile I was able to sit up and ask what hit me.

Often, during a thunderstorm a tree had been hit by lightning.

One day she hit the shell in the wrong place--and they're still looking for the monkey.

As He knows so well where to hit us we must stifle our moans when He does so.

I think even now that I might hit any large and goodly mark with a bow like this.

"You hit him," cried Chip, forgetting his prejudice for a moment.

Mr. Johnson has hit on the most effectual manner of plaguing us all.

Isn't the 'modest genius' rather proud of the hit she has made?

And now the picture has made a hit and brought a good price, and he must own it.

Well, hit do look sorter so, but I wouldn't 'a' b'lieved it, Mars Tom.


late Old English hyttan, hittan "come upon, meet with, fall in with, 'hit' upon," from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse hitta "to light upon, meet with," also "to hit, strike;" Swedish hitta "to find," Danish and Norwegian hitte "to hit, find," from Proto-Germanic *hitjanan. Related: Hitting. Meaning shifted in late Old English period to "strike," via "to reach with a blow or missile," and replaced Old English slean in this sense. Original sense survives in phrases such as hit it off (1780, earlier in same sense hit it, 1630s) and is revived in hit on (1970s).

Underworld slang meaning "to kill by plan" is 1955 (as a noun in this sense from 1970). To hit the bottle "drink alcohol" is from 1889. To hit the nail on the head (1570s) is from archery. Hit the road "leave" is from 1873; to hit (someone) up "request something" is from 1917. Hit and run is 1899 as a baseball play, 1924 as a driver failing to stop at a crash he caused. To not know what hit (one) is from 1923.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.