Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. A person, group, or organization of exceptional talent, ability, influence, authority, or success. Ms. Smith's law firm is a big hitter in this city. I've become known as something of a big hitter in the company since securing that new client last week.
2. A product or brand that sells or has sold extremely well. Through its clever advertising campaign, this new vacuum cleaner has become a big hitter in the industry.
In baseball, a batter who tries to hit pitches that are out of the strike zone. A: "What on earth is he swinging at?" B: "He's a bad-ball hitter, it's just how he plays. He'll hit one eventually."
See also: hitter
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.
1. In baseball, a batter who substitutes for someone else. Their pinch hitter ended up hitting a grand slam and winning the game for them!
2. By extension, anyone who acts as a substitute, especially at the last minute or in an emergency. Because the attorney assigned to the case is so close to having her baby, they asked me to be a pinch hitter in case she gives birth before the trial is over.
In baseball, softball, or cricket, a player with a very powerful swing who is capable of hitting the ball very far. The team's power hitter ended the game with a home run that made it all the way out of the stadium. They brought in a left-handed pitcher to throw the other team's power hitter off his game.
1. In baseball, someone who is able to bat both left-handed and right-handed. I thought it was a great idea to become a switch-hitter, but I ended up with a pretty lousy batting average as a result. They brought out their switch-hitter to deal with the new left-handed pitcher.
2. slang By extension, someone who is bisexual. We were together for nearly nine months before I found out he was a switch-hitter. I experimented with women in college, but I'm not a switch-hitter or anything.
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.
A substitute for another person, especially in an emergency. For example, Pat expected her mother to help with the baby, but just in case, she lined up her mother-in-law as pinch hitter . This expression comes from baseball, where it is used for a player substituting for another at bat at a critical point or in a tight situation (called a pinch since the late 1400s). [Late 1800s]
big (or heavy) hittera person with considerable power and influence (as contrasted with those who have less).
2004 Film Inside Out Ollie Trinke…is a big hitter in the music PR world of Manhattan.
1. n. a substitute batter in the game of baseball. Sam is a pinch hitter for Ralph, who broke his wrist.
2. n. any substitute person. In school today we had a pinch hitter. Our teacher was sick.
n. a batter in the game of baseball who can hit the ball great distances. Ted is a real power hitter. They’ll try to walk him.
1. n. a ballplayer who bats either right-handed or left-handed. (Baseball.) I’m not a switch-hitter. In fact, I can hardly hit the ball at all.
2. n. a bisexual person. (From sense 1) Bart finally decided he was a switch-hitter and asked Brad for a date since Mary was busy.