One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Make something by shaping metal with a hammer.
- ‘Ancient blacksmiths heated the iron ore and then hammered out iron spears and swords.’
- ‘This might be what was so puzzling to Moshe about the Menorah being hammered out from one piece of gold.’
- ‘At first brass or copper sheet was made by hammering it out by hand.’
- ‘The blacksmith who hammered it out from a single piece of stock was skilled at his trade.’
2Laboriously work out the details of a plan or agreement.‘a deal was being hammered out with the Dutch museums’
thrash out, work out, agree on, sort out, decide on, bring about, effect, produce, broker, negotiate, reach an agreement on, come to terms about, come to a decision on, come to a satisfactory conclusion on, form a resolution aboutView synonyms
- ‘Now, sources say that votes could come as early as next Wednesday in the House and Thursday in the Senate, when all the details are hammered out.’
- ‘Further details will be hammered out at working-level talks in the near future.’
- ‘The ministers will ask the officials to leave the room and hammer it out among themselves.’
- ‘But the conditions are that the guerrillas call a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities - a non-starter as the rebels have always said a ceasefire could only be called after the details of a peace agreement had been hammered out.’
- ‘In the end, there was too much opposition from business and development interests, so the CIR was put on hold while the superstore plan was hammered out.’
- ‘In each case, it's not the solution they hammer out that matters; it's the process of hammering it out.’
- ‘Each one thinking that the other is going to get some minor advantage by pulling some trick, and it just makes it hard to hammer this stuff out.’
- ‘As a writer or producer, you find yourself trapped in the middle and at first, you want to tell them, ‘Hey… you guys hammer it out and let me know what the decision is.’’
- ‘Scrap the Debate Commission and let the campaigns hammer it out between themselves each election.’
- ‘We finally hammered it out by the end of the summer.’
3Play a tune loudly or clumsily, especially on the piano.
- ‘"Walking the Dog" was followed by the final tune of the first set, "Snake Rag", hammered out at a 140 tempo.’
- ‘We had worked on it at sound checks, but hadn't really started hammering it out that morning before he got there.’
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