1 noun (C)
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 1
3 be/go at it hammer and tongs informal to fight or argue very loudly
4 PIANO a wooden part of a piano that hits the strings inside to make a musical sound
5 GUN the part of a gun that hits the explosive charge 1 (8) that fires a bullet
6 SPORT a heavy metal ball on a wire with a handle that is thrown as far as possible, as a sport
2 verb
1 HIT STH WITH A HAMMER (I, T) to hit something with a hammer in order to force it into a particular position or shape: hammer sth into/onto: He hammered the door into its frame. | The blacksmith then hammers the horseshoe into its final shape.
2 HIT REPEATEDLY (I) to hit something many times, especially making a loud noise
(+ against/on): The rain was hammering against the window.
3 DEFEAT (T) informal to defeat someone completely at a sport: Arsenal hammered Manchester United in yesterday's game.
4 HIT HARD informal (T) to hit or kick something very hard: Robinson hammered the ball into the goal.
5 hammer away at
a) to work hard and continuously at something: I kept hammering away at the essay until it was done.
b) to repeat something continuously until you are sure that people understand or accept what you are saying: Petersen kept hammering away at his demand for a public inquiry.
6 hammer sth home to make sure that people understand what you want to say by speaking in a determined way: an important point that needs to be hammered home
7 HEART (I) if your heart hammers, you feel it beating strongly and quickly: She stood outside the door, her heart hammering.
hammer sth in, hammer sth into sb/sth phrasal verb (T) to repeat something continuously until people completely understand it: The coach hammered his message into the team. hammer out sth phrasal verb (T) to decide on an agreement, contract, etc after a lot of discussion and disagreement: The UN is trying to force the warring factions to get together and hammer out a solution.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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