Meaning of HAMMER in English


I. ham ‧ mer 1 /ˈhæmə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: hamor ]

1 . TOOL

a) a tool with a heavy metal part on a long handle, used for hitting nails into wood

b) a tool like this with a wooden head used to make something flat, make a noise etc:

an auctioneer’s hammer

2 . come/go under the hammer to be offered for sale at an ↑ auction

3 . hammer blow British English an event that damages something very seriously

hammer blow for

The decision is a hammer blow for the coal industry.

4 . hammer and tongs informal

a) if people go at each other hammer and tongs, they fight or argue very loudly

b) if someone does something hammer and tongs, they do it with all their energy

5 . GUN the part of a gun that hits the explosive ↑ charge that fires a bullet

6 . SPORT a heavy metal ball on a wire with a handle at the end, which you throw as far as possible as a sport

7 . PIANO a wooden part of a ↑ piano that hits the strings inside to make a musical sound

II. hammer 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . HIT WITH A HAMMER [intransitive and transitive] to hit something with a hammer in order to force it into a particular position or shape

hammer something in/into something

Hammer the nails into the back of the frame.

hammer away (at something)

All afternoon, Martin had been hammering away in the conservatory.

the sound of hammering and sawing

2 . HIT REPEATEDLY [intransitive] to hit something many times, especially making a loud noise SYN pound , bang

hammer at

Daniella hammered at the door.

The rain was hammering against the window.

3 . HURT WITH PROBLEMS [transitive] to hurt someone or something by causing them a lot of problems:

British industry was being hammered by the recession.

4 . HIT HARD [transitive] informal to hit or kick something very hard:

Robinson hammered the ball into the goal.

5 . CRITICIZE [transitive] to strongly criticize or attack someone for something they have said or done:

The president has been hammered for his lack of leadership.

6 . hammer something home to make sure that people understand something by repeating it many times:

The message must be hammered home that crime doesn’t pay.

7 . HEART [intransitive] if your heart hammers, you feel it beating strongly and quickly SYN pound :

She stood outside the door, her heart hammering.

8 . DEFEAT [transitive] informal to defeat someone completely at a sport:

Arsenal hammered Manchester United 5–0.

hammer away phrasal verb

1 . to keep saying something because you want people to understand or accept it

hammer away at

I keep hammering away at this point because it’s important.

2 . to work hard and continuously at something

hammer away at

Keep on hammering away at achieving your goals.

hammer something ↔ in ( also hammer something into somebody ) phrasal verb

to keep saying something until people completely understand it:

The coach hammered his message into the team.

hammer something ↔ out phrasal verb

to decide on an agreement, contract etc after a lot of discussion and disagreement:

Leading oil producers tried to hammer out a deal.

• • •


■ to hit something

▪ hit :

Jack hit the ball and it flew over the fence

▪ knock to hit a door or window with your closed hand in order to attract the attention of the people inside:

Someone was knocking on the door.


I knocked loudly but no one came.

▪ strike written to hit a surface. Strike is more formal than hit and is mainly used in written English:

The ball struck the side of the goal.

▪ whack /wæk/ informal to hit something very hard:

Edmonds whacked the ball into the air.

▪ bash to hit something hard, especially in a way that causes damage:

The police had to bash the door down to get in.

▪ tap to gently hit something with your fingers, often in order to attract someone’s attention:

I tapped him on the shoulder.


I heard someone tapping on the window.

▪ rap to knock quickly or hit something several times:

He rapped the table with his pen to bring the meeting to order.


Two police officers rapped on the door at 7 o'clock in the morning.

▪ bang to suddenly hit something hard, in a way that makes a loud noise:

Her father banged his fist down on the table angrily.


The door suddenly banged shut.

▪ pound written to hit something many times with a lot of force:

I could hear the sea pounding on the rocks.


She pounded on the door and shouted wildly.

▪ hammer written to hit something quickly many times making a loud continuous noise:

The rain was hammering on the roof.


A crowd of people were outside hammering on the door angrily.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.