- a backhanded stroke.
- Swimming. a stroke made while on one’s back.
- a blow or stroke in return; recoil.
verb (used without object), back·stroked, back·strok·ing.
- Swimming. to swim the backstroke: She backstroked across the pool.
- Also called: back crawl swimming
- a stroke performed on the back, using backward circular strokes of each arm alternately and flipper movements of the feet
- (as modifier)the backstroke champion
- a return stroke or blow
- mainly US a backhanded stroke
- bell-ringing the upward movement of the bell rope as the bell swings back and forthCompare handstroke
- (intr) to swim the backstroke
1670s, “counter-punch,” from back (adj.) + stroke (n.). From 1876 in swimming, from back (n.).