American English

Definition of stroke noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
    hitting movement
  1. 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).
  2. 2a single movement of the arm when hitting someone or something His punishment was six strokes of the cane.
  3. in swimming/rowing
  4. 3any 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.
  5. 4(often in compounds) a style of swimming Butterfly is the only stroke I can't do. see also backstroke, breaststroke
  6. 5the person who sets the speed at which everyone in a boat rows
  7. illness
  8. 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.
  9. gentle touch
  10. 7[usually singular] an act of moving your hand gently over a surface, usually several times He gave the cat a stroke. see also masterstroke
  11. of pen/brush
  12. 8a 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.
  13. action
  14. 9stroke (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
  15. of clock
  16. 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)
  17. Idioms
    at a (single) stroke, at one stroke
    jump to other results
    with a single immediate action They threatened to cancel the whole project at a stroke.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stroke