Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hit n.

1. in fig. use, a success.

(a) [18C+] a successful coup of any sort, usu. based on crime.

(b) [18C+] a success, usu. in show business.

(c) [early 19C+] (US gambling) a winning series of numbers in gambling.

(d) [20C+] a good impression.

2. in the context of crime or violence.

(a) [19C+] an attempted crime, esp. a robbery.

(b) [1950s+] (UK Und.) a murder, esp. a ‘contracted’ gangster killing.

(c) [1950s+] (US Und.) the target/victim of an assassination.

(d) [1960s+] (US Und.) an attack against a rival gang or gang member.

3. a portion of alcohol or drugs.

(a) [20C+] a single drink of alcohol.

(b) [20C+] a swig of liquid, a measure of anything.

(c) [1910s+] the effect that follows the taking of any drug or drink.

(d) [1930s+] (drugs) a purchase of a drug.

(e) [1950s+] (drugs) a puff on a cigarette, marijuana cigarette or pipe.

(f) [1950s+] (drugs) a portion of any drug, a tablet of amphetamine or barbiturate; an injection or a line of heroin or cocaine, a ‘trip’ of LSD etc; cite 2012 refers to packages of heroin.

(g) [1950s+] (drugs) the act of injecting a narcotic drug; the injection itself.

(h) [1980s+] (drugs) a puff on a crack cocaine pipe.

(i) [1990s+] in fig. use, a stimulus.

4. an example of suffering or loss.

(a) [1940s–60s] (US Und.) a prison sentence or denial of parole.

(b) [1960s+] (US Und.) an arrest or other form of problem.

(c) [2000s] a loss.

5. a single example.

(a) [1970s+] (US) an instance, an attempt or time.

(b) [1980s+] in gambling, a single card.

In derivatives

hitsville (n.) [-ville sfx1 ]

[1960s+] the fig. world of success.

In compounds

hit-head (n.) [-head sfx]

[1980s+] a user of crack cocaine.

hit house (n.)

[1950s+] (drugs) a house where users go to inject narcotics and leave the owner drugs as payment.

hit list (n.) [1970s+]

1. a list of those scheduled for assassination.

2. any list that details tasks that are to be carried out.

hit man (n.)

1. [1930s+] (US Und.) a hold-up man.

2. [1950s+] (orig. US) a hired or ‘contract’ killer.

3. [1970s] in fig., non-violent use.

4. [1990s+] one who performs non-lethal violence for money.

hit woman (n.) (also hit lady)

[1970s+] (US) a female hired killer.

In phrases

make a hit (v.)

[mid-19C+] (orig. US) to make a favourable impression.

one-hitter (n.) (also one-hit bowl) [bowl n. (2)]

[1970s+] (drugs) a marijuana pipe that contains just enough for a single inhalation.

on hit (adj.)

[1990s+] (US campus) fashionable, chic.

take a hit (v.)

1. [2000s] to suffer.

2. to lose value.