strike down

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strike down

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.
See also: down, strike
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: down, strike

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.
See also: down, strike
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

strike down

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]
See also: down, strike
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.

strike down

v.
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.
See also: down, strike
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.
See also:
References in classic literature ?
He even challenged him to closer acquaintance with an invitation to play, with an abrupt movement lifting his paws from the ground and striking them down, stretched out well before, his body bent down from the rump in such a curve that almost his chest touched the sand, his stump of a tail waving signals of good nature while he uttered a sharp, inviting bark.
"The disease that is striking them down is a very complex puzzle."