hit the high spots

[ad_1] verb (used with object), hit, hit·ting.
  1. to deal a blow or stroke to: Hit the nail with the hammer.
  2. to come against with an impact or collision, as a missile, a flying fragment, a falling body, or the like: The car hit the tree.
  3. to reach with a missile, a weapon, a blow, or the like, as one throwing, shooting, or striking: Did the bullet hit him?
  4. to succeed in striking: With his final shot he hit the mark.
  5. Baseball.
    1. to make (a base hit): He hit a single and a home run.
    2. bat1(def 12).
  6. to drive or propel by a stroke: to hit a ball onto the green.
  7. to have a marked effect or influence on; affect severely: We were all hit by the change in management.
  8. to assail effectively and sharply (often followed by out): The speech hits out at warmongering.
  9. to request or demand of: He hit me for a loan.
  10. to reach or attain (a specified level or amount): Prices are expected to hit a new low. The new train can hit 100 mph.
  11. to be published in or released to; appear in: When will this report hit the papers? What will happen when the story hits the front page?
  12. to land on or arrive in: The troops hit the beach at 0800. When does Harry hit town?
  13. to give (someone) another playing card, drink, portion, etc.: If the dealer hits me with an ace, I’ll win the hand. Bartender, hit me again.
  14. to come or light upon; meet with; find: to hit the right road.
  15. to agree with; suit exactly: I’m sure this purple shirt will hit Alfred’s fancy.
  16. to solve or guess correctly; come upon the right answer or solution: You’ve hit it!
  17. to succeed in representing or producing exactly: to hit a likeness in a portrait.
  18. Informal. to begin to travel on: Let’s hit the road. What time shall we hit the trail?

verb (used without object), hit, hit·ting.

  1. to strike with a missile, a weapon, or the like; deal a blow or blows: The armies hit at dawn.
  2. to come into collision (often followed by against, on, or upon): The door hit against the wall.
  3. Slang. to kill; murder.
  4. (of an internal-combustion engine) to ignite a mixture of air and fuel as intended: This jalopy is hitting on all cylinders.
  5. to come or light (usually followed by upon or on): to hit on a new way.


  1. an impact or collision, as of one thing against another.
  2. a stroke that reaches an object; blow.
  3. a stroke of satire, censure, etc.: a hit at complacency.
  4. Baseball. base hit.
  5. Backgammon.
    1. a game won by a player after the opponent has thrown off one or more men from the board.
    2. any winning game.
  6. a successful stroke, performance, or production; success: The play is a hit.
  7. Slang. a dose of a narcotic drug.
  8. Digital Technology.
    1. (in information retrieval) an instance of successfully locating an item of data, as in a database or on the Internet: When I search for my name, I get lots of hits.
    2. an instance of accessing a website.
  9. Slang. a killing, murder, or assassination, especially one carried out by criminal prearrangements.

Verb Phrases

  1. hit off,
    1. to represent or describe precisely or aptly: In his new book he hits off the American temperament with amazing insight.
    2. to imitate, especially in order to satirize.
  2. hit on, Slang. to make persistent sexual advances to: guys who hit on girls at social events.
  3. hit out,
    1. to deal a blow aimlessly: a child hitting out in anger and frustration.
    2. to make a violent verbal attack: Critics hit out at the administration’s new energy policy.
  4. hit up, Slang.
    1. to ask to borrow money from: He hit me up for ten bucks.
    2. to inject a narcotic drug into a vein.
  1. hit it off, Informal. to be congenial or compatible; get along; agree: We hit it off immediately with the new neighbors. She and her brother had never really hit it off.
  2. hit or miss, without concern for correctness or detail; haphazardly: The paint job had been done hit or miss.
  3. hit the books, Slang. to study hard; cram.
  4. hit the bottle, Slang. bottle1(def 8).
  5. hit the high spots,
    1. to go out on the town; go nightclubbing: We’ll hit the high spots when you come to town.
    2. to do something in a quick or casual manner, paying attention to only the most important or obvious facets or items: When I clean the house I hit the high spots and that’s about all. This course will hit the high spots of ancient history.


  1. a rounded mark or stain made by foreign matter, as mud, blood, paint, ink, etc.; a blot or speck.
  2. something that mars one’s character or reputation; blemish; flaw.
  3. a small blemish, mole, or lesion on the skin or other surface.
  4. a small, circumscribed mark caused by disease, allergic reaction, decay, etc.
  5. a comparatively small, usually roundish, part of a surface differing from the rest in color, texture, character, etc.: a bald spot.
  6. a place or locality: A monument marks the spot where Washington slept.
  7. Usually spots. places of entertainment or sightseeing interest: We went to a few spots to dance and see the floor shows.
  8. spot announcement.
  9. a specific position in a sequence or hierarchy: The choral group has the second spot on the program, right after the dancers. He moved up from second spot to become president of the firm.
  10. Cards.
    1. one of various traditional, geometric drawings of a club, diamond, heart, or spade on a playing card for indicating suit and value.
    2. any playing card from a two through a ten: He drew a jack, a queen, and a three spot.
  11. a pip, as on dice or dominoes.
  12. Slang. a piece of paper money, almost always indicated as a five- or ten-dollar bill: Can you loan me a five spot until payday?
  13. Also called spot illustration. a small drawing, usually black and white, appearing within or accompanying a text.
  14. Chiefly British Informal.
    1. a small quantity of anything.
    2. a drink: a spot of tea.
  15. a small croaker, Leiostomus xanthurus, of the eastern coast of the U.S., used as a food fish.
  16. spots, Informal. commodities, as grain, wool, and soybeans, sold for immediate delivery.
  17. spot price.
  18. Informal. spotlight(def 1).

verb (used with object), spot·ted, spot·ting.

  1. to stain or mark with spots: The grease spotted my dress.
  2. to remove a spot or spots from (clothing), especially before dry cleaning.
  3. to sully; blemish.
  4. to mark or diversify with spots or dots, as of color: We spotted the wall with blue paint.
  5. to detect or recognize; locate or identify by seeing: to spot a hiding child.
  6. to place or position on a particular place: to spot a billiard ball.
  7. to stop (a railroad car) at the exact place required.
  8. to scatter in various places: to spot chairs here and there in the room.
  9. Informal. spotlight(def 5).
  10. Military.
    1. to determine (a location) precisely on either the ground or a map.
    2. to observe (the results of gunfire at or near a target) for the purpose of correcting aim.
  11. Photography. to remove spots from (a negative or print) by covering with opaque color.
  12. Sports. to give or grant a certain margin or advantage to (an opponent): He spotted the tyro 12 points a game. The champion won, although spotting the challenger twenty pounds.
  13. (in gymnastics) to watch or assist (a performer) in order to prevent injury.
  14. Slang. to lend: Can you spot me twenty for tonight’s game?

verb (used without object), spot·ted, spot·ting.

  1. to make a spot; cause a stain: Ink spots badly.
  2. to become spotted, as some fabrics when spattered with water.
  3. Military. to serve or act as a spotter.


  1. Radio, Television.
    1. pertaining to the point of origin of a local broadcast.
    2. broadcast between announced programs.
  2. made, paid, delivered, etc., at once: a spot sale; spot goods.
  1. hit the high spots, Informal. to deal with or include only the major points of interest: With but a limited amount of vacation time, he concentrated on hitting the high spots of Europe.
  2. hit the spot, Informal. to satisfy a want or need, as to quench thirst: Iced tea hits the spot during the hot summer months.
  3. in a (bad) spot, in an uncomfortable or dangerous predicament: The tourists found themselves in a bad spot after they lost their money in Las Vegas.
  4. knock spots off, British Slang. to outdo easily; beat.
  5. on the spot,
    1. without delay; at once; instantly.
    2. at the very place in question.
    3. in a difficult or embarrassing position.
    4. in a position of being expected to act or to respond in some way.

verb hits, hitting or hit (mainly tr)

  1. (also intr) to deal (a blow or stroke) to (a person or thing); strikethe man hit the child
  2. to come into violent contact withthe car hit the tree
  3. to reach or strike with a missile, thrown object, etcto hit a target
  4. to make or cause to make forceful contact; knock or bumpI hit my arm on the table
  5. to propel or cause to move by strikingto hit a ball
  6. cricket to score (runs)
  7. to affect (a person, place, or thing) suddenly or adverselyhis illness hit his wife very hard
  8. to become suddenly apparent to (a person)the reason for his behaviour hit me and made the whole episode clear
  9. to achieve or reachto hit the jackpot; unemployment hit a new high
  10. to experience or encounterI’ve hit a slight snag here
  11. slang to murder (a rival criminal) in fulfilment of an underworld contract or vendetta
  12. to accord or suit (esp in the phrase hit one’s fancy)
  13. to guess correctly or find out by accidentyou have hit the answer
  14. informal to set out on (a road, path, etc)let’s hit the road
  15. informal to arrive or appear inhe will hit town tomorrow night
  16. informal, mainly US and Canadian to demand or request fromhe hit me for a pound
  17. slang to drink an excessive amount of (alcohol)to hit the bottle
  18. hit it music slang start playing
  19. hit skins US slang to have sexual intercourse
  20. hit the sack or hit the hay slang to go to bed
  21. not know what has hit one to be completely taken by surprise


  1. an impact or collision
  2. a shot, blow, etc, that reaches its object
  3. an apt, witty, or telling remark
  4. informal
    1. a person or thing that gains wide appealshe’s a hit with everyone
    2. (as modifier)a hit record
  5. informal a stroke of luck
  6. slang
    1. a murder carried out as the result of an underworld vendetta or rivalry
    2. (as modifier)a hit squad
  7. slang a drag on a cigarette, a swig from a bottle, a line of a drug, or an injection of heroin
  8. computing a single visit to a website
  9. make a hit with or score a hit with informal to make a favourable impression on


  1. a small mark on a surface, such as a circular patch or stain, differing in colour or texture from its surroundings
  2. a geographical area that is restricted in extenta beauty spot
  3. a locationthis is the exact spot on which he died
  4. a blemish of the skin, esp a pimple or one occurring through some disease
  5. a blemish on the character of a person; moral flaw
  6. informal a place of entertainmentwe hit all the night spots
  7. informal, mainly British a small quantity or amounta spot of lunch
  8. informal an awkward situationthat puts me in a bit of a spot
  9. a short period between regular television or radio programmes that is used for advertising
  10. a position or length of time in a show assigned to a specific performer
  11. short for spotlight
  12. (in billiards)
    1. Also called: spot ballthe white ball that is distinguished from the plain by a mark or spot
    2. the player using this ball
  13. billiards snooker one of several small black dots on a table that mark where a ball is to be placed
  14. (modifier)
    1. denoting or relating to goods, currencies, or securities available for immediate delivery and paymentspot goods See also spot market, spot price
    2. involving immediate cash paymentspot sales
  15. change one’s spots (used mainly in negative constructions) to reform one’s character
  16. high spot an outstanding eventthe high spot of the holiday was the visit to the winery
  17. knock spots off to outstrip or outdo with ease
  18. on the spot
    1. immediately
    2. at the place in question
    3. in the best possible position to deal with a situation
    4. in an awkward predicament
    5. without moving from the place of one’s location, etc
    6. (as modifier)our on-the-spot reporter
  19. soft spot a special sympathetic affection or weakness for a person or thing
  20. tight spot a serious, difficult, or dangerous situation
  21. weak spot
    1. some aspect of a character or situation that is susceptible to criticism
    2. a flaw in a person’s knowledgeclassics is my weak spot

verb spots, spotting or spotted

  1. (tr) to observe or perceive suddenly, esp under difficult circumstances; discern
  2. to put stains or spots upon (something)
  3. (intr) (of some fabrics) to be susceptible to spotting by or as if by watersilk spots easily
  4. (tr) to place here and therethey spotted observers along the border
  5. to look out for and note (trains, talent, etc)
  6. (intr) to rain slightly; spit
  7. (tr) billiards to place (a ball) on one of the spots
  8. military to adjust fire in order to correct deviations from (the target) by observation
  9. (tr) US informal to yield (an advantage or concession) to (one’s opponent)to spot someone a piece in chess

late Old English hyttan, hittan “come upon, meet with, fall in with, ‘hit’ upon,” from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse hitta “to light upon, meet with,” also “to hit, strike;” Swedish hitta “to find,” Danish and Norwegian hitte “to hit, find,” from Proto-Germanic *hitjanan. Related: Hitting. Meaning shifted in late Old English period to “strike,” via “to reach with a blow or missile,” and replaced Old English slean in this sense. Original sense survives in phrases such as hit it off (1780, earlier in same sense hit it, 1630s) and is revived in hit on (1970s).

Underworld slang meaning “to kill by plan” is 1955 (as a noun in this sense from 1970). To hit the bottle “drink alcohol” is from 1889. To hit the nail on the head (1570s) is from archery. Hit the road “leave” is from 1873; to hit (someone) up “request something” is from 1917. Hit and run is 1899 as a baseball play, 1924 as a driver failing to stop at a crash he caused. To not know what hit (one) is from 1923.


c.1200, “moral stain,” probably from Old English splott “a spot, blot, patch (of land)” infl. by Middle Dutch spotte “spot, speck.” Other cognates are East Frisian spot “speck,” North Frisian spot “speck, piece of ground,” Old Norse spotti “small piece.” It is likely that some of these are borrowed, but the exact evolution now is impossible to trace.

Meaning “speck, stain” is from mid-14c. The sense of “particular place” is from c.1300. Meaning “short interval in a broadcast for an advertisement or announcement” is from 1923. Proceeded by a number (e.g. five-spot) it originally was a term for “prison sentence” of that many years (1901, American English slang). To put (someone) on the spot “place in a difficult situation” is from 1928. Colloquial phrase to hit the spot “satisfy, be what is required” is from 1868. Spot check first attested 1933. Spot on “completely, accurately” is attested from 1920.


early 15c., “to stain, sully, tarnish” from spot (n.). Sense of “to stain with spots” is attested from mid-15c. Meaning “to see and recognize,” is from 1718, originally colloquial and applied to a criminal or suspected person; the general sense is from 1860. Related: Spotted; spotting.


late 15c., “a rebuke;” 1590s as “a blow,” from hit (v.). Meaning “successful play, song, person,” etc., 1811, is from the verbal sense of “to hit the mark, succeed” (c.1400). Underworld slang meaning “a killing” is from 1970. Meaning “dose of narcotic” is 1951, from phrases such as hit the bottle.


  1. A mark on a surface differing sharply in color from its surroundings.
  2. A stain or blot.


  1. To lose a slight amount of blood through the vagina.

Also, hit the high points. Pay attention only to the most important places or parts. For example, We only had a week in New York, but we managed to hit the high spots, or His speech was brief, but he hit all the high points. This idiom alludes to running a dustcloth or paintbrush over an uneven surface and touching only the raised portions. [c. 1900]

In addition to the idioms beginning with hit

  • hit a snag
  • hit below the belt
  • hit between the eyes
  • hit bottom
  • hit it big
  • hit it off
  • hit on
  • hit on all cylinders
  • hit one’s stride
  • hit one where one lives
  • hit or miss
  • hit out
  • hit parade
  • hit the books
  • hit the bottle
  • hit the bricks
  • hit the bull’s-eye
  • hit the ceiling
  • hit the deck
  • hit the fan
  • hit the ground running
  • hit the hay
  • hit the high spots
  • hit the jackpot
  • hit the mark
  • hit the nail on the head
  • hit the road
  • hit the roof
  • hit the sack
  • hit the spot
  • hit up for
  • hit upon

also see:

  • (hit) below the belt
  • can’t hit the broad side of a barn
  • heavy hitter
  • make a hit
  • pinch hitter
  • smash hit

see blind spot; hit the high spots; hit the spot; in a bind (tight spot); in a fix (spot); Johnny-on-the-spot; knock the socks (spots) off; leopard cannot change its spots; on the spot; rooted to the spot; soft spot; x marks the spot.


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