1. a backhanded stroke.
  2. Swimming. a stroke made while on one’s back.
  3. a blow or stroke in return; recoil.

verb (used without object), back·stroked, back·strok·ing.

  1. Swimming. to swim the backstroke: She backstroked across the pool.


  1. Also called: back crawl swimming
    1. a stroke performed on the back, using backward circular strokes of each arm alternately and flipper movements of the feet
    2. (as modifier)the backstroke champion
  2. a return stroke or blow
  3. mainly US a backhanded stroke
  4. bell-ringing the upward movement of the bell rope as the bell swings back and forthCompare handstroke


  1. (intr) to swim the backstroke

1670s, “counter-punch,” from back (adj.) + stroke (n.). From 1876 in swimming, from back (n.).

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