The word "strike" has many different meanings and uses. It’s a very common word in English.

In the first set of examples, "strike" is a verb which means to hit something or someone:

simplepastpast participle
struck / stricken
  • A pedestrian was struck and killed by an SUV.
  • A man was struck by lightning while playing golf. (These first two sentences are in the passive voice.)
  • Sarah said that if her husband ever strikes her she’ll leave him.
  • Everyone in the neighborhood despised the man for striking his children with a belt.
  • People who were stricken by the disease received immediate treatment. (Sometimes "stricken" is used as a past participle.)
  • Be careful when you strike a match. (To strike a match is to light a match to create a flame.)

matches matches

As a verb "strike" can also mean that a person has a thought or a sudden inspiration:

  • You strike me as being a very ambitious person.
  • She strikes the other women in the office as being a little flirtatious around men.
  • That just struck me as a bad idea.

The word "striking" is an adjective. It means beautiful or impressive:

  • He has a striking physique.
  • She bears a striking resemblance to Marilyn Monroe.
  • She’s quite striking.

As a noun, the word "strike" represents many different things:

  • A lightning strike hit the top of the tree.
lightning strike
  • The workers went on strike. (They protested their working conditions.)
workers on strike

  • A pitcher tries to throw strikes in the game of baseball.

  • A batter tries to avoid strikes. Instead he tries to hit the ball.

(A strike in baseball occurs when a batter misses the ball when attempting to hit it. )


  • A strike in the game of bowling results when all ten pins are knocked down on the first ball thrown.


There are a few important expressions that use the word "strike."

  • That’s a strike against you. (You are at a disadvantage for something you did.)
  • Three strikes and you’re out. (If you make enough mistakes, you will be fired, asked to leave, or put in jail.)
  • He struck gold. (He found something that provided him with a good fortune or good opportunity.)
  • They struck a deal. (Then came to an agreement.)
  • Strike up the band! (This is said when someone wants a group or band of musicians to begin playing music.)

Click here to learn more words.

August 5, 2013