- 1an act of hitting a ball, for example with a golf club or racket What a beautiful stroke! He won by two strokes (= in golf, by taking two fewer strokes than his opponent).
- 2a single movement of the arm when hitting someone or something His punishment was six strokes of the cane. in swimming/rowing
- 3 any of a series of repeated movements in swimming or rowing She took a few more strokes to reach the bank. He swam with long powerful strokes.
- 4(often in compounds) a style of swimming Butterfly is the only stroke I can't do. see also backstroke, breaststroke
- 5the person who sets the speed at which everyone in a boat rows illness
- 6a sudden serious illness when a blood vessel (= tube) in the brain bursts or is blocked, which can cause death or the loss of the ability to move or to speak clearly to have/suffer a stroke The stroke left him partly paralyzed. gentle touch
- 7 [usually singular] an act of moving your hand gently over a surface, usually several times He gave the cat a stroke. see also keystroke of pen/brush
- 8 a mark made by moving a pen, brush, etc. once across a surface to paint with fine brush strokes At the stroke of a pen (= by signing something) they removed thousands of people from the welfare system. action
- 9 stroke (of something) a single successful action or event Your idea was a stroke of genius. It was a stroke of luck that I found you here. It was a bold stroke to reveal the identity of the murderer on the first page. She never does a stroke (of work) (= never does any work). see also masterstroke of clock
- 10each of the sounds made by a clock or bell giving the hours At the first stroke it will be 9 o'clock exactly. on the stroke of three (= at 3 o'clock exactly) Idioms
nounjump to other results
with a single immediate action They threatened to cancel the whole project at a stroke.
at a (single) stroke, at one strokejump to other results