strike oil, to
1. To access stores of oil while drilling into the ground. Stop drilling, we've struck oil!
2. To achieve success in some area, often financially. A: "We sure struck oil when we recorded that song." B: "I know, it's become a huge hit and will pay us a ton in royalties."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
If you strike oil, you suddenly become successful in finding or doing something. In Austin, a new generation of high-tech billionaires has struck oil in the computer industry. Jennifer McFarlane aims to strike oil on the Australian executive job market. Note: This expression is more commonly used literally to say that someone discovers oil in the ground as a result of drilling.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
strike oilattain prosperity or success.
1994 Nature S. P. Goldman …seems to have struck oil in the search for better ways of computing electronic states.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
strike oil, to
To make a lucky discovery or breakthrough. Originating in nineteenth-century America, this literal expression was used figuratively by the second half of the century. James Russell Lowell (Poetical Works, 1888) wrote: “We are a nation which has struck ile [sic].” A straightforward synonym is to strike it rich, also from mining, which alludes to finding a substantial mineral deposit.
See also: strike
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer