1. one stroke of any key on a machine operated by a keyboard, as a typewriter, computer terminal, or Linotype: I can do 3000 keystrokes an hour.

Origin of keystroke

First recorded in 1905–10; key1 + stroke1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for keystroke

Contemporary Examples of keystroke

  • It is, rather, to remember that every keystroke you make is more permanent than if it were chiseled in rock.

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    Tiger's Digital Sex Trap

    Douglas Rushkoff

    December 2, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for keystroke


  1. a single operation of the mechanism of a typewriter or keyboard-operated typesetting machine by the action of a key
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

Word Origin and History for keystroke

1902, from key (n.1) + stroke (n.). Not in common use until the rise of computers. As a verb, by 1966 (implied in keystroking).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper