Strike, hit, smite, punch, slug, slog, swat, clout, slap, cuff, box are comparable when they mean to come or bring into contact with or as if with a sharp blow.
Strike , hit , and smite are the more general terms.
Strike , the most general of the words, may indicate the motion of aiming or dealing the blow, the motion prior to contact with the hand, fist, instrument, weapon, or missile. It may indicate various types of contact from a light, often stroking contact to a forcible collision or blasting contact.
It may suggest several types of physical or emotional effect or impression or it may be used to indicate any of the types of contact suggested by the other words in this group.
Hit , although it is used in most of the situations in which strike occurs, emphasizes more than the latter the physical or figurative contact with or impact upon an object, usually one aimed at; it tends to stress forcefulness.
Smite , likely to appear in rhetorical or bookish contexts, commonly stresses the injuriousness or destructiveness of the contact and often suggests a motivation of anger or desire for vengeance.
Punch , slug , slog , swat , and clout are generally used to suggest the giving of various kinds of usually sharp or heavy blows.
Punch suggests a quick blow with or as if with the fist.
Slug emphasizes the heaviness of the impact and may suggest a certain viciousness in the delivery of the blow.
Slog emphasizes the heavy and typically haphazard quality of the blows and in sports (as cricket or golf) it may stress power as opposed to finesse.
Swat suggests a forceful, slapping blow, usually with an instrument (as a bat, weapon, or flyswatter).
Clout suggests a heavy careless blow (as with the hand or fist).
Slap , cuff , and box all denote blows of varying force with the open hand.
Slap is the most general and indicates a sharp, stinging blow with or as if with the palm of the hand.
Cuff suggests a blow often forcible enough to dizzy or throw off balance and often dealt with the back of the hand.
Box suggests the delivery of an openhanded blow but is ordinarily limited to one against the ears.