Definition of stroke noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//strəʊk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stroʊk//
    Cricket, Golf, Boating, Swimming, Travelling by boat or ship
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    hitting movement
  1. 1  an act of hitting a ball, for example with a bat or racket What a beautiful stroke! He won by two strokes (= in golf, by taking two fewer strokes than his opponent). See related entries: Cricket, Golf
  2. 2a single movement of the arm when hitting somebody/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. Wordfinderarmband, dive, flipper, float, goggles, length, paddle, stroke, swim, water wings See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  5. 4(often in compounds) a style of swimming Butterfly is the only stroke I can't do. see also backstroke, breaststroke See related entries: Swimming
  6. 5the person who sets the speed at which everyone in a boat rows See related entries: Boating
  7. gentle touch
  8. 6[usually singular] (especially British English) an act of moving your hand gently over a surface, usually several times He gave the cat a stroke.
  9. of pen/brush
  10. 7a 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.
  11. action
  12. 8stroke (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
  13. of clock
  14. 9each 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)
  15. illness
  16. 10 a 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 paralysed.
  17. Word OriginOld English strācian ‘caress lightly’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch streek ‘a stroke’, German streichen ‘to stroke’, also to strike. The earliest noun sense ‘blow’ is first recorded in Middle English.Extra examples He played some powerful backhand strokes throughout the game. He swam back with long slow strokes. I had a sudden stroke of inspiration. I will outline in broad strokes our main ideas. She caught his likeness with a few bold brush strokes. She had a massive stroke and lost her speech. The Romanian rowers pulled ahead with fast, powerful strokes. The stroke left him in a wheelchair. The stroke left him paralysed down his right side. They lost half their fortune at a stroke. This regimen substantially reduces the risks of recurrent stroke. With a stroke of the pen our names were removed from the register. Woods leads by two strokes. You can’t swim more than four strokes before you reach the other side. a stroke of geniusIdioms
    at a (single) stroke, at one stroke
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    with a single immediate action They threatened to cancel the whole project at a stroke.
    put somebody off their stroke
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    (British English) to make somebody make a mistake or hesitate in what they are doing My speech was going well until I was put off my stroke by an interruption.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stroke