strike oil, to

strike oil

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."
See also: oil, strike

strike oil

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.
See also: oil, strike

strike oil

attain prosperity or success.
1994 Nature S. P. Goldman …seems to have struck oil in the search for better ways of computing electronic states.
See also: oil, strike

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