strike out

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strike out (third-person singular simple present strikes out, present participle striking out, simple past and past participle struck out)

  1. (intransitive, often with at) To lash out; to strike or hit at someone or something, particularly something in arm's length of the striker and at or near the level of the striker's head.
    • 1885, James Runciman, Grace Balmaign's sweetheart[1], page 203:
      The gallant old skipper had struck out with his fist and the blow took effect; "spread the chap's nose all ower his fyesce" as he afterwards said ...
  2. (figuratively) To strongly criticize or make a verbal attack, particularly as a response to previous criticism or provocation.
    • 1954, Kenneth E. Trombley, The life and times of a happy liberal: a biography of Morris Llewellyn Cooke[2], page 163:
      ... 1937, before the Maryland Farm Bureau Federation, he struck out at his critics. He said: When the Federal Government first undertook to help farmers get ...
  3. To draw a line through some text such as a printed or written sentence, with the purpose of deleting that text from the rest of the document.
    • 1787, James Madison, The Writings of James Madison: 1787. Journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1787[3], published 1903, page 165:
      Mr. Randolph moved to strike out the words, "each House" and to insert the words, "the House of Representatives" in Sect. 7.
    • 2017 January 14, “Thailand's new king rejects the army's proposed constitution”, in The Economist[4]:
      This document allowed for the king to reject the draft constitution in its entirety but appeared not to provide for the possibility that he might ask to strike out lines he did not like.
  4. (ergative, baseball, softball) Of a batter, to be retired after three strikes (missed swings, as opposed to any other way of becoming "out"); of a pitcher, to cause this to happen to the batter.
    Jones struck out on a nasty slider.
    The pitcher struck out Jones with a nasty slider.
  5. (intransitive, colloquial, figuratively) To fail; to be refused a request or to have a proposal not be accepted, in particular a request for a (hopefully romantic) date.
    Dave asked the new girl to the dance but he struck out.
  6. To begin to make one's way.
    The travellers struck out towards the line of mountains.



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