Do you have any idea how "hit" came to mean reach or arrive at a point, place, or limit and the like?


  1. reach (a particular level, point, or figure) : "his career hit rock bottom"
  2. arrive at or go to (a place): "we hit a diner for coffee and doughnuts"

Are there any restrictions to its usage this way that I should be aware of?

A few examples:

My understanding of the word "hit", the senses above aside, is that it means strike, as in come physically, perhaps violently into contact with something. Might it be that from there it evolved to simply "come into contact"- or, better said- run into, come across ("strike/hit pay dirt" comes to mind), and from there evolved still?

  • The relevant definition in the full OED (hit, verb, section 2) is To come upon, light upon, meet with, get at, attain to, reach one's aim, succeed, and the like, of which they say This is the Old Norse sense; but with the exception of the single late Old English instance in sense 11, its exemplification in English as a whole is later. Sense 11 referred to there is the first one in that second section: trans. To come upon, light upon, meet with, get at, reach, find, esp. something aimed at. Jan 28, 2018 at 13:22
  • The question would be clearer if you explain what you think the word meant before it "came to mean reach or arrive at a point".
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 28, 2018 at 13:28
  • all right. Will do.
    – Daniel
    Jan 28, 2018 at 13:33
  • @Daniel To hit as strike also means to reach the target. If you try to hit someone, but you fail to reach the target, you literally don't hit; you miss. Not sure what else there is to say.
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 28, 2018 at 13:46
  • 1
    Amp up meet and you get a collision. Hit a target and you can hit Vegas around 11.
    – KarlG
    Jan 28, 2018 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


To happen or occur, to become suddenly apparent to (a person), to come or light upon; meet with; find

As in:

The storm hit without warning. The reason for his behavior hit me and made the whole episode clear.

hit etymology

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