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1. To erase, cancel, or cross out a line or portion of writing. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "strike" and "out." Sorry, strike that last line out. I wrote an angry email but ended up striking out most of it before I sent it.
2. In baseball or softball, of the batter, to be out after getting three strikes and failing to hit the ball or reach base on a walk. If I strike out, we're going to lose the game. Frequent home run hitters are also apt to strike out a lot.
3. In baseball or softball, of the pitcher, to retire a batter by throwing three strikes. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "strike" and "out." The rookie has struck out more batters than anyone else in the league. If the pitcher strikes her out, we'll lose this game.
4. To fail to achieve a desired result. The eighth film in the horror series struck out with audiences. I tried to get a phone number from her, but I struck out again.
5. To begin a journey of some kind; to set out. Tomorrow, we'll strike out at dawn and our quest will be underway. The whole battalion struck out toward the border days ago.
strike out at (someone or something)
1. To attack or hit something with a sudden sharp physical blow. The belligerent man struck out at the dog with a rolled-up magazine, drawing scornful looks from passersby. Bill didn't hear me coming up behind him and struck out at me when I touched his shoulder.
2. To attack someone or something verbally; to criticize, berate, or reprimand someone something. The government is striking out at misinformation about the crisis that has been circulating on the Internet. I've noticed Sam striking out at his friends whenever they bring the topic up in conversation.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
strike something out
to cross something out of a section of printing or writing. This is wrong. Please strike it out. Strike out this sentence.
strike out (at someone or something)
to hit at someone or something with the intention of threatening or harming. Dave would strike out at anyone who came near him, but it was all bluff. He was mad, and when anyone came close, he struck out.
1. Lit. [for a baseball batter] to be declared out after making three strikes. (Baseball.) And so Drew Wilson strikes out for his second time in this game! He struck out in the second inning, and the manager took him out then.
2. Fig. to fail. Well, we struck out again, but we'll keep trying. I hear you struck out on that Acme proposal. Better luck next time.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Cancel or erase, as in Strike out that last sentence, please. [Early 1500s]
2. Begin a course of action, set out energetically, as in Elaine was determined to strike out on her own. [Early 1700s]
3. Fail in an endeavor, as in His latest business venture has struck out. This usage originated in baseball, where it refers to a batter's failure to put the ball in play ( Williams struck out three times in yesterday's game), as well as to a pitcher's success in eliminating a batter ( Clemens struck him out again in the fourth inning). [Late 1800s]
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.
1. To begin a course of action: After hatching, the baby turtles struck out toward the ocean. After the band broke up, the lead singer struck out on her own. We struck out on a mission to find the lost treasure.
2. To make an attempt to hit someone: The suspect struck out at the police officer.
3. Baseball To pitch three strikes to some batter, putting the batter out: The pitcher struck out the batter to end the inning. The pitcher struck the batter out with two curve balls and a fastball.
4. Baseball To be put out at bat with three strikes: The batter struck out and returned to the dugout.
5. To fail in an endeavor: They struck out in their attempt to raise taxes. The network struck out with its new television show and canceled it after the third week. The car salesman struck out with his first five customers.
6. To eliminate or delete something from a document or record: The editor struck out the final paragraph and rewrote it. The lawyer struck a clause out of the contract.
7. To put some claim or action out of a court of law without further hearing: The court struck out the claim when the plaintiff failed to produce enough evidence. The judge found the accusation unclear, so she struck it out.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. in. [for a baseball batter] to be declared out after three strikes. (Baseball.) He struck out in the second inning, and manager Willy “Herky” Simpson read him out then.
2. in. to fail. I hear you struck out on that Acme proposal. Better luck next time.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.