A backhand is when you hit a ball with a racket or paddle with your arm across your body and the back of your hand facing the ball. Some tennis players find it challenging to hit a backhand.

You can use the word backhand as a noun or an adjective, to describe a stroke in tennis, squash, or any other sport that involves a racket. When backhand is a verb, it can mean to hit the ball this way, but it more often means to hit or slap someone with the back of your hand. The tennis stroke meaning has been around since the 1650s.

Definitions of backhand
  1. noun
    a return made with the back of the hand facing the direction of the stroke
    synonyms: backhand shot, backhand stroke
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    two-handed backhand
    a backhand shot made holding the racquet in both hands
    type of:
    a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player
  2. verb
    hit a tennis ball backhand
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    type of:
    cause to move by striking
  3. adjective
    (of racket strokes) made across the body with back of hand facing direction of stroke
    synonyms: backhanded
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    forehand, forehanded
    (of racket strokes) made with palm facing direction of stroke
  4. adjective
    (of handwriting) having the letters slanting backward
    synonyms: left-slanting
    set down in writing in any of various ways
Word Family