strike while the iron is hot

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red hot iron

to strike while the iron is hot

  1. (metallurgy, blacksmithing, literally) To strike a hot piece of metal, especially iron, with a mallet or other tool before it cools, while it is still hot enough to be shaped.
  2. (idiomatic) To act on an opportunity promptly while favorable conditions exist; to avoid waiting.
    We should strike while the iron is hot and order some immediately, before they change the offer.

Usage notes[edit]

  • When expressed in the imperative mood, this term is a well-known saying or proverb:
    Strike while the iron is hot!


See also[edit]



strike while the iron is hot

  1. (Should we delete(+) this sense?) (imperative, idiomatic) Take advantage of opportunity.


  • Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, 1996, ↑ISBN, p. 309.