View synonyms for stroke



[ strohk ]


  1. the act or an instance of striking, as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer; a blow.

    Synonyms: pat, knock, tap, rap

  2. a hitting of or upon anything.
  3. a striking of a clapper or hammer, as on a bell.
  4. the sound produced by this.
  5. a throb or pulsation, as of the heart.

    Synonyms: thrum, beat, rhythm

  6. Also called apoplexy, cerebrovascular accident. Pathology. a blockage or hemorrhage of a blood vessel leading to the brain, causing inadequate oxygen supply and, depending on the extent and location of the abnormality, such symptoms as weakness, paralysis of parts of the body, speech difficulties, and, if severe, loss of consciousness or death.
  7. something likened to a blow in its effect, as in causing pain, injury, or death; an attack of apoplexy or paralysis.
  8. a destructive discharge of lightning.
  9. a vigorous movement, as if in dealing a blow.
  10. Sports. a hitting of a ball, as by the swing of a racquet in tennis or the controlled jabbing or thrusting with the cue in pool and billiards.
  11. a single complete movement, especially one continuously repeated in some process.
  12. Machinery.
    1. one of a series of alternating continuous movements of something back and forth over or through the same line.
    2. the complete movement of a moving part, especially a reciprocating part, in one direction.
    3. the distance traversed in such a movement.
    4. a half revolution of an engine during which the piston travels from one extreme of its range to the other.
  13. Swimming.
    1. a type or method of swimming:

      The crawl is a rapid stroke.

    2. each of the successive movements of the arms and legs in propelling the body through the water.
  14. Rowing.
    1. a single pull of the oar.
    2. the manner or style of moving the oars.
    3. Also called stroke oar. the crew member nearest to the stern of the boat, to whose strokes those of the other crew members must conform.
  15. a movement of a pen, pencil, brush, graver, or the like.
  16. a mark traced by or as if by one movement of a pen, pencil, brush, or the like.
  17. Chiefly British. virgule ( def ).
  18. a distinctive or effective touch in a literary composition:

    His style revealed the stroke of a master.

  19. a single or minimal act, piece, or amount of work, activity, etc.:

    to refuse to do a stroke of work.

  20. an attempt to attain some object:

    a bold stroke for liberty.

  21. a measure adopted for a particular purpose.
  22. a keystroke:

    no more than 65 strokes to the line for business letters.

  23. a feat or achievement:

    a stroke of genius.

  24. a sudden or chance happening, as of luck or fortune.

verb (used with object)

, stroked, strok·ing.
  1. to mark with a stroke or strokes, as of a pen; cancel, as by a stroke of a pen.
  2. Rowing.
    1. to row as a stroke oar of (a boat or crew).
    2. to set the stroke for the crew of (a boat).
  3. Sports. to hit (a ball), as with a deliberate, smooth swing of a bat or club.



[ strohk ]

verb (used with object)

, stroked, strok·ing.
  1. to pass the hand or an instrument over (something or somebody) lightly or with little pressure; rub gently, as in soothing or caressing.

    Synonyms: pet, caress

  2. Informal. to promote feelings of self-approval in; flatter.


  1. an act or instance of stroking; a stroking movement; caress.


/ strəʊk /


  1. the act or an instance of striking; a blow, knock, or hit
  2. a sudden action, movement, or occurrence

    a stroke of luck

  3. a brilliant or inspired act or feat

    a stroke of genius

  4. pathol apoplexy; rupture of a blood vessel in the brain resulting in loss of consciousness, often followed by paralysis, or embolism or thrombosis affecting a cerebral vessel
    1. the striking of a clock
    2. the hour registered by the striking of a clock

      on the stroke of three

  5. a mark, flourish, or line made by a writing implement
  6. another name for solidus, used esp when dictating or reading aloud
  7. a light touch or caress, as with the fingers
  8. a pulsation, esp of the heart
  9. a single complete movement or one of a series of complete movements
  10. sport the act or manner of striking the ball with a racket, club, bat, etc
  11. any one of the repeated movements used by a swimmer to propel himself through the water
  12. a manner of swimming, esp one of several named styles such as the crawl or butterfly
    1. any one of a series of linear movements of a reciprocating part, such as a piston
    2. the distance travelled by such a part from one end of its movement to the other
  13. a single pull on an oar or oars in rowing
  14. manner or style of rowing
  15. the oarsman who sits nearest the stern of a shell, facing the cox, and sets the rate of striking for the rest of the crew
  16. informal.
    a compliment or comment that enhances a person's self-esteem
  17. slang.
    modifier pornographic; masturbatory

    stroke magazines

  18. a stroke or a stroke of work
    usually used with a negative a small amount of work
  19. off one's stroke
    performing or working less well than usual
  20. on the stroke of
    punctually at


  1. tr to touch, brush, or caress lightly or gently
  2. tr to mark a line or a stroke on or through
  3. to act as the stroke of (a racing shell)
  4. tr sport to strike (a ball) with a smooth swinging blow
  5. informal.
    tr to handle or influence (someone) with care, using persuasion, flattery, etc


/ strōk /

  1. A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel of the brain, resulting in necrosis of brain tissue (called a cerebral infarct ) and characterized by loss of muscular control, weakening or loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of brain damage.
  2. Also called cerebrovascular accident


  1. A sudden loss of brain function caused by an interruption in the supply of blood to the brain. A ruptured blood vessel or cerebral thrombosis may cause the stroke, which can occur in varying degrees of severity from temporary paralysis and slurred speech to permanent brain damage and death.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of stroke1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun strok(e), stroc, strocke, strak(e), probably continuing unattested Old English strāc (whence strācian ”to stroke”); cognate with German Streich; akin to strike; stroke 2

Origin of stroke2

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb stroke(n), strake, Old English strācian; cognate with German streichen; akin to strike

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Word History and Origins

Origin of stroke1

Old English strācian; related to Middle Low German strēken; see strike

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Synonym Study

See blow 1.

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Example Sentences

Indeed, scientists have linked khat consumption to increased risk of strokes and heart diseases.

From Ozy

However, you can bring them back to sharpness with just a few strokes along a sharpening stone.

So they adopted its broad strokes—including its limits on data collection and its requirements on data storage and data deletion—and then loosened some of its language.

Instead of swimming straight by twirling their tails like propellers, human sperm flick their tails lopsidedly and roll to balance out the off-center strokes.

By itself, such a lopsided stroke would lead to swimming in circles.

With every stroke, her leather boot creaked under the weight of her leg.

This video remedies that injustice, showcasing an owl doing a butterfly stroke in Lake Michigan.

And finally, when you ask for your car, your dress, whatever it is you want, stroke his hand.

In a stroke, and if his words are genuine, Tim Cook has just become Gay Superman.

In a stroke of genius, he enlisted Bundy to vouch for him on tape.

I hope the French Government will recognize this dashing stroke of d'Amade's by something more solid than a thank you.

She did shout for joy, as with a sweeping stroke or two she lifted her body to the surface of the water.

Her pulse was beneath his fingers, and with every stroke of it he felt more keenly the mystery and cruelty of life.

They were afraid that it was too small; they then put another of 14 inches by the side of the first, the same stroke.

At Wheal Alfred they have a 64-inch cylinder; the air-pump is 20 inches, and the stroke is half that of the engine.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




Stroheimstroke hole