Definition of


  1. (noun, act) a light touch with the hands
  2. (noun, act) a single complete movement
  3. (noun, act) (sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand
    a good shot requires good balance and tempo
    he left me an almost impossible shot
  4. (noun, act) any one of the repeated movements of the limbs and body used for locomotion in swimming or rowing
  5. (noun, communication) a mark made on a surface by a pen, pencil, or paintbrush
  6. (noun, communication) a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information
  7. (noun, event) anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause
    the pregnancy was a stroke of bad luck
    it was due to an accident or fortuity
  8. (noun, event) the maximum movement available to a pivoted or reciprocating piece by a cam
  9. (noun, event) a light touch
  10. (noun, person) the oarsman nearest the stern of the shell who sets the pace for the rest of the crew
  11. (noun, quantity) (golf) the unit of scoring in golf is the act of hitting the ball with a club
  12. (noun, state) a sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain
  13. (verb, communication) treat gingerly or carefully
  14. (verb, competition) strike a ball with a smooth blow
  15. (verb, competition) row at a particular rate
  16. (verb, contact) touch lightly and repeatedly, as with brushing motions

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Stroke

  1. "act of striking," c.1300, probably from O.E. *strac, from P.Gmc. *straikaz (cf. M.L.G. strek, Ger. streich, Goth. striks "stroke"), related to the verb stracian (see stroke (v.)). The meaning "mark of a pen" is from 1567; that of "a striking of a clock" is from 1436. Sense of "feat, achievement" (e.g. stroke of luck, 1853) first… more
  2. "pass the hand gently over," O.E. stracian, related to strican "pass over lightly," from P.Gmc. *straikojanan, which is related to the root of strike, from PIE base *streig- (see strigil). Fig. sense of "soothe, flatter" is recorded from 1513. The noun meaning "a stroking movement of the hand" is recorded from 1631. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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