Meaning of STRIKE in English



1. to stop working in order to get higher wages etc

2. when workers are on strike


to hit someone or something : ↑ HIT

see also








1. to stop working in order to get higher wages etc

▷ go on strike /ˌgəʊ ɒn ˈstraɪk/ [verb phrase]

if workers go on strike, they stop working in order to demand better pay or working conditions, or to protest about something :

▪ In 1926, all Britain’s miners, railway workers, and transport workers went on strike.

go on strike for

▪ The engineers have gone on strike for better pay and shorter working hours.

go on indefinite strike

go on strike until something is done to change a situation

▪ From tomorrow, we’re going on indefinite strike unless something’s done to reduce the number of accidents in the factory.

▷ strike /straɪk/ [intransitive verb]

if workers strike, they stop working in order to demand higher wages etc - used especially in news reports :

▪ Female workers are often more reluctant than men to strike in order to get what they want.

strike for

▪ Teachers were not striking for higher pay, but for higher standards in education.

striking [adjective only before noun]

▪ Outside the offices, standing in the rain, were 1400 striking clerical workers.

▷ come out on strike /ˌkʌm aʊt ɒn ˈstraɪk/ [verb phrase] British

if a group of workers come out on strike, they deliberately stop working as a protest, especially after discussions with their employers have failed to produce any agreement :

▪ Union leaders are calling on their members to come out on strike from next Monday.

come out on strike in support of somebody/something

▪ The government just didn’t expect teachers to come out on strike in support of the miners.

▷ walk out /ˌwɔːk ˈaʊt/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if workers walk out, they stop working and leave the place where they are working, especially when this has not been planned but happens as a protest about something that has just happened :

▪ This afternoon, three hundred car workers walked out as a protest over cuts in overtime.

▪ Ambulance drivers have threatened to walk out if their pay claim is rejected.

walk-out /ˈwɔːk aʊt/ [countable noun]

▪ What started as a walk-out in a small factory in Manchester was to develop into a national and long-running strike.

▷ down tools /ˌdaʊn ˈtuːlz/ [verb phrase] British

if workers in a factory down tools, they stop working as a protest about something that has just happened :

▪ After their workmate was sacked, the other machinists all downed tools until she was reinstated.

▷ be on strike /biː ɒn ˈstraɪk/ [verb phrase]

if workers are on strike, they have stopped working in order to demand higher wages etc :

▪ Some two-thirds of the country’s diamond miners are now on strike.

be out on strike

▪ There were frequent power cuts when the electricity workers were out on strike.

2. when workers are on strike

▷ strike /straɪk/ [countable noun]

▪ The offices were closed by a strike that lasted two months.

miners’/teachers’/railworkers’ etc strike

▪ Since the miners’ strike, thirty of the mines in the area have been closed.

coal/rail/dock etc strike

▪ The roads were a nightmare as commuters were hit by a rail strike.

call a strike

ask workers to strike

▪ When union bosses called a strike in protest over low pay, the response was overwhelming.

call off a strike

stop striking

▪ The administration has officially asked transportation workers to call off their strike.

general strike

when most workers in a country strike

▪ Following a general strike and calls for his resignation, the President was arrested on 26 March.

strike action

▪ Shipbuilders and dockers were solidly in favour of strike action in support of their claim.

▷ industrial action /ɪnˌdʌstriəl ˈækʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

when a group of workers try to persuade their employer to improve pay or conditions, either by going on strike or by doing less work than they usually do :

▪ Exactly what form the industrial action will take is not yet known.

▪ Most of the workers are against industrial action, but are asking for talks with employers.

take industrial action

▪ A survey of 2,000 federation members had shown that 48% believed police should have the right to take industrial action.

▷ work-to-rule /ˌwɜːʳk tə ˈruːl/ [singular noun]

when workers do only the amount of work they legally have to do and no more, as a protests against something :

▪ Because of their work-to-rule, teachers were no longer taking after-school clubs or supervising lunch hours.

▷ stoppage British also work stoppage American /ˈstɒpɪdʒ. ˈwɜːʳk ˌstɒpɪdʒǁˈstɑː-/ [countable noun]

when a group of workers stop working for a short time until their complaint, protest, or demand is dealt with :

▪ Customs officers will return to work today after a twenty-four hour stoppage.

▪ Railworkers in central Poland also joined the stoppage, cutting the link with the industrial south-west.

▪ The plan is likely to be met with work stoppages and other labor disruptions.

▷ go-slow /ˌgəʊ ˈsləʊ/ [countable noun] British

when a group of workers deliberately work more slowly than usual as a way of protesting about low wages, bad working conditions etc :

▪ The hospital seemed to be treating as many patients as possible before the go-slow came into effect.

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