stroke

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English *stroak, strok, strak, from Old English *strāc (stroke), from Proto-Germanic *straikaz (stroke), from Proto-Indo-European *streyg- (stroke; to strike). Cognate with Scots strak, strake, straik (stroke, blow), Middle Low German strēk (stroke, trick, prank), German Streich (stroke).

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

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stroke (plural strokes)

  1. An act of stroking (moving one's hand over a surface).
    She gave the cat a stroke.
  2. A blow or hit.
    a stroke on the chin
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xix. 5
      His hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree.
    • Francis Bacon
      He entered and won the whole kingdom of Naples without striking a stroke.
  3. A single movement with a tool.
    1. (golf) A single act of striking at the ball with a club.
    2. (tennis) The hitting of a ball with a racket, or the movement of the racket and arm that produces that impact.
    3. (rowing) The movement of an oar or paddle through water, either the pull which actually propels the vessel or a single entire cycle of movement including the pull.
    4. (cricket) The action of hitting the ball with the bat; a shot.
    5. A thrust of a piston.
  4. One of a series of beats or movements against a resisting medium, by means of which movement through or upon it is accomplished.
    the stroke of a bird's wing in flying, or of an oar in rowing
    the stroke of a skater, swimmer, etc.
  5. A powerful or sudden effort by which something is done, produced, or accomplished; also, something done or accomplished by such an effort.
    a stroke of genius; a stroke of business; a master stroke of policy
  6. A line drawn with a pen or other writing implement.
    1. (hence, UK) The symbol /.
    2. (linguistics) A line of a Chinese, Japanese or Korean character.
  7. The time when a clock strikes.
    on the stroke of midnight
    • 2012 May 9, John Percy, “Birmingham City 2 Blackpool 2 (2-3 on agg): match report”, the Telegraph:
      Already guarding a 1-0 lead from the first leg, Blackpool inched further ahead when Stephen Dobbie scored from an acute angle on the stroke of half-time. The game appeared to be completely beyond Birmingham’s reach three minutes into the second period when Matt Phillips reacted quickly to bundle the ball past Colin Doyle and off a post.
  8. (swimming) A style, a single movement within a style.
    butterfly stroke
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Old Applegate, in the stern, just set and looked at me, and Lord James, amidship, waved both arms and kept hollering for help. I took a couple of everlasting big strokes and managed to grab hold of the skiff's rail, close to the stern.
  9. (medicine) The loss of brain function arising when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted.
  10. (obsolete) A sudden attack of any disease, especially when fatal; any sudden, severe affliction or calamity.
    a stroke of apoplexy; the stroke of death
    • Harte
      At this one stroke the man looked dead in law.
  11. (rowing) The rower who is nearest the stern of the boat.
  12. (rowing) The oar nearest the stern of a boat, by which the other oars are guided.
  13. (professional wrestling) Backstage influence.
  14. (squash (sport)) A point awarded to a player in case of interference or obstruction by the opponent.
  15. (sciences) An individual discharge of lightning.
    A flash of lightning may be made up of several strokes. If they are separated by enough time for the eye to distinguish them, the lightning will appear to flicker.
  16. (obsolete) The result or effect of a striking; injury or affliction; soreness.
    • Bible, Isa. xxx. 26
      in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound
  17. An addition or amendment to a written composition; a touch.
    to give some finishing strokes to an essay
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)
  18. A throb or beat, as of the heart.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry?)
  19. (obsolete) Power; influence.
    • Robynson (More's Utopia)
      where money beareth all the stroke
    • Dryden
      He has a great stroke with the reader.
  20. (obsolete) appetite
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English stroken, straken, from Old English strācian (to stroke), from Proto-Germanic *straikōną (to stroke, caress). Cognate with German streicheln (to stroke, fondle).

Verb[edit]

stroke (third-person singular simple present strokes, present participle stroking, simple past and past participle stroked)

  1. (transitive) To move one's hand or an object (such as a broom) along (a surface) in one direction.
    • Dryden
      He dried the falling drops, and, yet more kind, / He stroked her cheeks.
  2. (transitive, cricket) To hit the ball with the bat in a flowing motion.
  3. (masonry) To give a finely fluted surface to.
  4. (transitive) To row the stroke oar of.
    to stroke a boat
Translations[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]