An activity, task, or something that is done exceptionally well.
Example: Leah’s room was a mess, but she cleaned it up and I have to say, she really knocked it out of the park. (In other words, Leah did a great job.)
Note: With this expression, it’s common for the word “knock” to be substituted with the word “hit.” Additionally, the word “it” is sometimes replaced with the words “the ball.” (e.g., You hit the ball out of the park with your presentation at work.)
The Origin Of “Knock It Out Of The Park”
Baseball is likely where the idiom “knock it out of the park” comes from. I will briefly talk about basic parts of this sport in an attempt to explain how the term originated there:
In baseball, a ball is pitched to a batter whose goal is, simply put, to hit the ball as hard as possible. Ideally, the batter wants to knock “it” (the ball) out of the park. Doing so would result in a home run, allowing the batter to safely run to all four bases, thus scoring a “run” for his team.
Obviously, it’s not easy for a batter to knock the ball out of the park. It requires them to strike the ball exceptionally well, but if they pull it off, one might say they did a great job. Hence this literal thing a batter does during a game eventually went on to be used figuratively for when a person does anything exceptionally—it’s as if the person is a batter and they “knocked it out of the park.”
Anyways, the earliest I have seen this saying in print is from the late 19th century. The term is used within the context of baseball and also in a literal sense. This example comes from the newspaper Launchestion Examiner, December 1894:
“The new junior team possesses a splendid hitter in Richards, who managed four times to hit the ball out of the Park.”
- Brian studied hard for an upcoming test and as a result, he hit the ball out of the park.
- My computer was having all kinds of problems, so I gave it to my brother hoping he could fix it. After he gave it back to me hours later, it works great now; he knocked it out of the park.
See also: A list of baseball sayings