stroke

It's a stroke of luck, or chance event, to find a terrific parking space on a rainy day, but no one feels lucky when their grandfather has a stroke, a sudden debilitating loss of oxygen to the brain.

Stroke is a high value word — many meanings, yet rarely misunderstood in context. You can swim a certain stroke (or just doggie paddle), you can stroke a cat's fur, you can figuratively stroke your boss's ego by flattering him, or you can have a stroke of brilliance and solve world hunger. Hopefully you won't suffer a stroke and need hospitalization. Its origin as a medical term goes back to the 1500s when it was shortened from "the Stroke of God's Hand."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: stroke

1
nv
a single complete movement
touch lightly and repeatedly, as with brushing motions
2
nv
(sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand
strike a ball with a smooth blow
3
nv
the oarsman nearest the stern of the shell who sets the pace for the rest of the crew
row at a particular rate
4
n
a sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain
5
n
a mark made on a surface by a pen, pencil, or paintbrush
6
n
anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: stroke
1

n a single complete movement

Types:
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key stroke, keystroke
the stroke of a key; one depression of a key on a keyboard
beat
a stroke or blow
bow
a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments
blow
a powerful stroke with the fist or a weapon
backhander
a backhanded blow
clip
a sharp slanting blow
belt, knock, rap, whack, whang
the act of hitting vigorously
thwack
a hard blow with a flat object
slap, smack, smacking
the act of smacking something; a blow delivered with an open hand
smacker
a very powerful blow with the fist
knockdown
a blow that knocks the opponent off his feet
KO, kayo, knockout
a blow that renders the opponent unconscious
swat
a sharp blow
lash, whip, whiplash
a quick blow delivered with a whip or whiplike object
biff, clout, lick, poke, punch, slug
(boxing) a blow with the fist
box
a blow with the hand (usually on the ear)
boot, kick, kicking
the act of delivering a blow with the foot
down-bow
a downward stroke from the heel to the tip of the bow
up-bow
an upward stroke from the tip to the heel of the bow
counterblow
a return blow; a retaliatory blow
swing
a sweeping blow or stroke
knife thrust, stab, thrust
a strong blow with a knife or other sharp pointed instrument
stinger
a sharp stinging blow
thump
a heavy blow with the hand
uppercut
a swinging blow directed upward (especially at an opponent's chin)
hammer, hammering, pound, pounding
the act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows)
shot
a blow hard enough to cause injury
wallop
a severe blow
Type of:
motility, motion, move, movement
a change of position that does not entail a change of location

n any one of the repeated movements of the limbs and body used for locomotion in swimming or rowing

Types:
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swimming stroke
a method of moving the arms and legs to push against the water and propel the swimmer forward
Australian crawl, crawl, front crawl
a swimming stroke; arms are moved alternately overhead accompanied by a flutter kick
dog paddle
an elementary swimming stroke imitating a swimming dog
sidestroke
a swimming stroke in which the arms move forward and backward while the legs do a scissors kick
butterfly, butterfly stroke
a swimming stroke in which the arms are thrown forward together out of the water while the feet kick up and down
breaststroke
a swimming stroke; the arms are extended together in front of the head and swept back on either side accompanied by a frog kick
backstroke
a swimming stroke that resembles the crawl except the swimmer lies on his or her back
treading water
a stroke that keeps the head above water by thrashing the legs and arms
Type of:
locomotion, travel
self-propelled movement

n the maximum movement available to a pivoted or reciprocating piece by a cam

Synonyms:
cam stroke, throw
Types:
instroke
the stroke of an engine piston moving away from the crankshaft
outstroke
the stroke of an engine piston moving toward the crankshaft
Type of:
motion, movement
a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something

n a light touch

Type of:
touch, touching
the event of something coming in contact with the body

n a light touch with the hands

Synonyms:
stroking
Types:
caress
a gentle affectionate stroking (or something resembling it)
Type of:
touch, touching
the act of putting two things together with no space between them

v touch lightly and repeatedly, as with brushing motions

“He stroked his long beard”
Types:
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caress, fondle
touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
lap, lick
pass the tongue over
paw
touch clumsily
grope
fondle for sexual pleasure
dandle
pet
pet
stroke or caress in an erotic manner, as during lovemaking
chuck, pat
pat or squeeze fondly or playfully, especially under the chin
nose, nuzzle
rub noses
pet
stroke or caress gently
tickle
touch or stroke lightly
tongue
lick or explore with the tongue
Type of:
touch
make physical contact with, come in contact with

v treat gingerly or carefully

“You have to stroke the boss”
Type of:
blandish, flatter
praise somewhat dishonestly
2

n (sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand

“it took two strokes to get out of the bunker”
Synonyms:
shot
Types:
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break
the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool
cannon, carom
a shot in billiards in which the cue ball contacts one object ball and then the other
masse, masse shot
a shot in billiards made by hitting the cue ball with the cue held nearly vertically; the cue ball spins around another ball before hitting the object ball
miscue
a faulty shot in billiards; the cue tip slips off the cue ball
cut, undercut
(sports) a stroke that puts reverse spin on the ball
swipe
a sweeping stroke or blow
tennis shot, tennis stroke
the act of hitting a tennis ball with a tennis racket
baseball swing, cut, swing
in baseball; a batter's attempt to hit a pitched ball
golf shot, golf stroke, swing
the act of swinging a golf club at a golf ball and (usually) hitting it
return
a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player
serve, service
(sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play
downswing
a swing downward of a golf club
fade, slice, slicing
a golf shot that curves to the right for a right-handed golfer
draw, hook, hooking
a golf shot that curves to the left for a right-handed golfer
drive, driving
hitting a golf ball off of a tee with a driver
explosion
a golf shot from a bunker that typically moves sand as well as the golf ball
putt, putting
hitting a golf ball that is on the green using a putter
approach, approach shot
a relatively short golf shot intended to put the ball onto the putting green
sclaff
a poor golf stroke in which the club head hits the ground before hitting the ball
shank
a poor golf stroke in which the heel of the club hits the ball
teeoff
the act of hitting a golf ball from the teeing ground at the start of each hole
Type of:
maneuver, manoeuvre, play
a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill

n (golf) the unit of scoring in golf is the act of hitting the ball with a club

“Nicklaus won by three strokes
Type of:
score
a number that expresses the accomplishment of a team or an individual in a game or contest

v strike a ball with a smooth blow

Type of:
hit, strike
make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target
3

n the oarsman nearest the stern of the shell who sets the pace for the rest of the crew

Type of:
oarsman, rower
someone who rows a boat

v row at a particular rate

Type of:
row
propel with oars
4

n a sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain

Synonyms:
CVA, apoplexy, cerebrovascular accident
Types:
ischaemic stroke, ischemic stroke
the most common kind of stroke; caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain (as from a clot blocking a blood vessel)
haemorrhagic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke
stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain
Type of:
attack
a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition
5

n a mark made on a surface by a pen, pencil, or paintbrush

“she applied the paint in careful strokes
Types:
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downstroke
a stroke normally made in a downward direction
upstroke
a stroke normally made in an upward direction
flick
a short stroke
underline, underscore
a line drawn underneath (especially under written matter)
Type of:
mark, print
a visible indication made on a surface

n a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information

Synonyms:
diagonal, separatrix, slash, solidus, virgule
Type of:
punctuation, punctuation mark
the marks used to clarify meaning by indicating separation of words into sentences and clauses and phrases
6

n anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause

“the pregnancy was a stroke of bad luck”
Synonyms:
accident, chance event, fortuity
Types:
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hap
an accidental happening
break, good luck, happy chance
an unexpected piece of good luck
coincidence, happenstance
an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental
lottery
something that is regarded as a chance event
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens
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