• synonyms


  1. a backhanded slap, punch, stroke, or play.
  2. British Slang.
    1. a drink served out of turn to a guest as a bottle or decanter is passed around the table during dessert.
    2. a bribe.
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Origin of backhander

First recorded in 1795–1805; backhand + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for backhander

Historical Examples of backhander

  • He administered a backhander to Elgood as he spoke, and the next minute Charlie, roused beyond all bearing, had knocked him down.

    St. Winifred's

    Frederic W. Farrar

  • But no vibration of any such impatience was in Merivales voice, and in his words there was no backhander to answer it.

    The Angel of Pain

    E. F. Benson

  • A few blows of scorn might suffice—a backhander across the snout, a few swishes with a stick, a kick behind when he turned.

    The Devil's Garden

    W. B. Maxwell

British Dictionary definitions for backhander


  1. a backhanded stroke or blow
  2. informal an indirect attack
  3. slang a bribe
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012