strike (v.)

Old English strican (past tense strac, past participle stricen) "pass lightly over, stroke, smooth, rub," also "go, move, proceed," from Proto-Germanic *strikan- (source also of Old Norse strykva "to stroke," Old Frisian strika, Middle Dutch streken, Dutch strijken "to smooth, stroke, rub," Old High German strihhan, German streichen), from PIE root *strig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil). Related to streak and stroke, and perhaps influenced in sense development by cognate Old Norse striuka.

Sense of "to deal a blow" developed by early 14c.; meaning "to collide" is from mid-14c.; that of "to hit with a missile" is from late 14c. Meaning "to cancel or expunge" (as with the stroke of a pen) is attested from late 14c. A Middle English sense is preserved in strike for "go toward." Sense of "come upon, find" is from 1835 (especially in mining, well-digging, etc., hence strike it rich, 1854). Baseball sense is from 1853. To strike a balance is from the sense "balance accounts" (1530s).

Meaning "refuse to work to force an employer to meet demands" is from 1768, perhaps from notion of striking or "downing" one's tools, or from sailors' practice of striking (lowering) a ship's sails as a symbol of refusal to go to sea (1768), which preserves the verb's original sense of "make level, smooth."

strike (n.)

1580s, "act of striking," from strike (v.). Meaning "concentrated cessation of work by a body of employees" is from 1810. Baseball sense is first recorded 1841, originally meaning any contact with the ball; modern sense developed by 1890s, apparently from foul strike, which counted against the batter, and as hit came to be used for "contact with the ball" this word was left for "a swing and a miss" that counts against the batter; figurative sense of have two strikes against (of a possible three) is from 1938. Bowling sense attested from 1859. Meaning "sudden military attack" is attested from 1942.

Definitions of strike
strike (v.)
deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon;
The boxer struck the attacker dead
The teacher struck the child
the opponent refused to strike
strike (v.)
have an emotional or cognitive impact upon;
her comments struck a sour note
This behavior struck me as odd
he was dumb-struck by the news
Synonyms: affect / impress / move
strike (v.)
hit against; come into sudden contact with;
He struck the table with his elbow
Synonyms: hit / impinge on / run into / collide with
strike (v.)
make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target;
We must strike the enemy's oil fields
The Germans struck Poland on Sept. 1, 1939
in the fifth inning, the Giants struck, sending three runners home to win the game 5 to 2
Synonyms: hit
strike (v.)
indicate (a certain time) by striking;
The clock struck midnight
Just when I entered, the clock struck
strike (v.)
affect or afflict suddenly, usually adversely;
The earthquake struck at midnight
Synonyms: hit /
strike (v.)
stop work in order to press demands;
Synonyms: walk out
strike (v.)
touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly;
A strange sound struck my ears
The light struck the golden necklace
Synonyms: fall / shine
strike (v.)
The horse finally struck a pace
Synonyms: come to
strike (v.)
produce by manipulating keys or strings of musical instruments;
strike `z' on the keyboard
The pianist strikes a middle C
Synonyms: hit
strike (v.)
cause to form (an electric arc) between electrodes of an arc lamp;
strike an arc
strike (v.)
find unexpectedly;
she struck a goldmine
The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake
Synonyms: fall upon / come upon / light upon / chance upon / come across / chance on / happen upon / attain / discover
strike (v.)
produce by ignition or a blow;
strike fire from the flintstone
strike a match
strike (v.)
remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line;
Please strike this remark from the record
Synonyms: scratch / expunge / excise
strike (v.)
cause to experience suddenly;
The thought struck terror in our minds
Panic struck me
They were struck with fear
Synonyms: hit / come to
strike (v.)
drive something violently into a location;
she struck her head on the low ceiling
Synonyms: hit
strike (v.)
occupy or take on;
strike a pose
Synonyms: assume / take / take up
strike (v.)
disassemble a temporary structure, such as a tent or a theatrical set;
after the show, we'll have to strike the set and pack up
strike (v.)
form by stamping, punching, or printing;
strike coins
strike a medal
Synonyms: mint / coin
strike (v.)
smooth with a strickle;
Synonyms: strickle
strike (v.)
pierce with force;
The icy wind struck through our coats
The bullet struck her thigh
strike (v.)
arrive at after reckoning, deliberating, and weighing;
strike a balance
strike a bargain
strike (n.)
a group's refusal to work in protest against low pay or bad work conditions;
the strike lasted more than a month before it was settled
Synonyms: work stoppage
strike (n.)
an attack that is intended to seize or inflict damage on or destroy an objective;
the strike was scheduled to begin at dawn
strike (n.)
a gentle blow;
Synonyms: rap / tap
strike (n.)
a score in tenpins: knocking down all ten with the first ball;
he finished with three strikes in the tenth frame
Synonyms: ten-strike
strike (n.)
(baseball) a pitch that the batter swings at and misses, or that the batter hits into foul territory, or that the batter does not swing at but the umpire judges to be in the area over home plate and between the batter's knees and shoulders;
this pitcher throws more strikes than balls
strike (n.)
a conspicuous success;
Synonyms: hit / smash / smasher / bang