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1. Literally, to knock someone or something down with a heavy blow. A noun or pronoun can be used between "strike" and "down." The speeding car struck the cyclist down. A huge lightning bolt struck the cedar tree down.
2. To kill someone in tragic circumstances, typically those beyond human control. A noun or pronoun can be used between "strike" and "down." He was struck down by cancer when he was only 42 years old. Let God strike me down if I'm lying!
3. To reject, cancel, annul, invalidate, or render ineffective. A noun or pronoun can be used between "strike" and "down." The courts struck the law down, declaring it to be unconstitutional. The board of directors struck down our proposal for a new business based in Canada.
strike someone or something down
to knock someone or something down by striking. Max struck Lefty down with one blow. He struck down the weeds with a scythe.
strike something down
[for a court] to invalidate a ruling or law. The higher court struck the ruling of the lower court down. The court struck down the ruling.
1. Fell with a blow or misfortune, as in The tree was struck down by lightning, or He was struck down by tuberculosis while in his twenties. [Late 1400s]
2. Render ineffective, cancel, especially in a legal context. For example, The appeals court struck down the verdict. [Late 1800s]
1. To cause someone or something to fall by a blow: Boxing experts are predicting that the champion will strike down the contender in the third round. I grabbed a wrench and struck the intruder down with a blow to the head.
2. To incapacitate or kill someone. Used chiefly in the passive: Hundreds of civilians were struck down during the first week of the war. Smokers need to realize that heart disease can strike them down in the prime of their lives.
3. To render something ineffective; cancel something: The committee struck down the proposal we've worked so hard on, so we'll have to start all over again. The Supreme Court determined that the law was unconstitutional and struck it down accordingly.