An activity, task, or something that is done exceptionally well.
Example: Leah’s room was a mess, but she cleaned it all 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 people to substitute the word “knock” with the word “hit.” In addition, the word “it” is sometimes substituted for 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 where the idiom “knock it out of the park” comes from. Since this sport is popular, I probably don’t need to describe the basics of it to you. However, in order to explain how this term originated from there, I’m going to briefly go over some of the basics:
In baseball, a ball is pitched to a batter whose goal is to try and 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 first, second, and third base and finally back to the home plate, thus scoring a “run” for his team.
Obviously, it’s not easy to knock the ball out of the park. It requires the batter to strike the ball exceptionally well, but if they succeed at doing it, then they did a great job. Thus, this literal thing that a batter would do in baseball eventually went on to be used figuratively for when someone does an exceptional job at anything—it’s as if the person is a batter and they “knocked it out of the park.”
Anyways, the earliest appearance of this saying in print that I could find is from the late 19th century. Unsurprisingly, the term is used in a literal sense and in relation to baseball. 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 in hopes that he would fix it. He gave it back hours later and I have to say, he knocked it out of the park. It works great now!
See Also: A list of baseball sayings