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1. An extremely successful, important, or influential person. John is a real heavy hitter in the world of finance. Many people have tried to copy his success.
2. A high-scoring athlete, especially a baseball player. The team would be foolish to trade their heavy hitter. He's the reason the team did well this season.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
An important or influential individual or organization. For example, This publishing house is one of the heavy hitters in the textbook industry. This expression originated in sports such as boxing, where it literally meant "hitting hard," and was transferred to other enterprises in the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A person who gets results. This American colloquialism probably alludes to baseball’s best hitter, the player who gets a home run when the bases are loaded. Heavy has been used for “important” and “influential” since the mid-1800s. Its pairing with hitter and transfer to business and politics occurred about a century later. For example, “The heaviest hitters in the magazine industry are reputedly losing their collective grip” (Publishers Weekly, Aug. 10, 1990).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer