backhand

noun
back·​hand | \ ˈbak-ˌhand How to pronounce backhand (audio) \

Definition of backhand

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a stroke (as in tennis) made with the back of the hand turned in the direction of movement also : the side on which such strokes are made
b : a catch (as in baseball) made to the side of the body opposite the hand being used
2 : handwriting whose strokes slant downward from left to right

backhand

adjective

Definition of backhand (Entry 2 of 4)

: made with a backhand a backhand tennis stroke

backhand

adverb
back·​hand | \ ˈbak-ˌhand How to pronounce backhand (audio) \
variants: or backhanded \ ˈbak-​ˈhan-​dəd How to pronounce backhanded (audio) \

Definition of backhand (Entry 3 of 4)

: with a backhand

backhand

verb
backhanded; backhanding; backhands

Definition of backhand (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to do, hit, or catch backhand

Illustration of backhand

Illustration of backhand

Noun

backhand 1a

In the meaning defined above

Examples of backhand in a Sentence

Noun

She has a good backhand but a weak forehand.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Anisimova is a fan of Halep's two-handed backhand and has a fine two-hander of her own. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "French Open: Rain keeps Djokovic, Halep off court in wet Paris," 5 June 2019 Usually, the discussion wraps up quite quickly, such as on the very last point of three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka’s 5-plus-hour victory Sunday, when his backhand barely landed in, grazing the outside edge of the sideline. Washington Post, "Choreography comes to clay: No replay review at French Open," 5 June 2019 In the past, Federer’s one-handed backhand has been no match for Nadal’s topspin-heavy forehand, and Nadal will mercilessly target the ad court on Thursday. Stanley Kay, SI.com, "Federer, Nadal Set to Clash in Surreal French Open Semifinal," 4 June 2019 Nadal’s high-kicking left-handed forehand can still wear down Federer’s one-handed backhand like nothing else on clay or earth. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "It’s Federer vs. Nadal, a Grand Rivalry Reborn, in the French Open Semifinals," 4 June 2019 Everybody played to my one-handed backhand so the forehand even got more precious to me. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "This Man Has Done Something Rare: Beat Rafael Nadal Three Times on Clay," 7 June 2018 In the first overtime Fleury had made a point-blank stop on Barclay Goodrow after a giveaway by Theodore and then had the presence of mind to poke-check the puck away from Joe Pavelski as the San Jose center tried to go to his backhand. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Sharks battle back to break even giving the Golden Knights their first playoff loss," 29 Apr. 2018 Nadal led the fifth set 4-2, 30-15 on his serve, but missed an easy backhand winner with Djokovic out of position at the net after a weak volley. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Set for Another Australian Open Showdown," 25 Jan. 2019 Cecchinato played smart, often sparkling tennis on this overcast day, hitting drop-shot winners in bunches and bold, one-handed backhands down the line. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Unseeded Marco Cecchinato on an Unthinkable Ride at French Open," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

O’Reilly scored in the opening minute of the second period, backhanding in a rebound for his third goal in his last five periods. Jimmy Golen, The Denver Post, "Blues beat Bruins 2-1, lead Stanley Cup 3-2," 6 June 2019 O'Reilly scored in the opening minute of the second period, backhanding in a rebound for his third goal in his last five periods. Jimmy Golen, chicagotribune.com, "Jordan Binnington's 38 saves help Blues beat Bruins 2-1 and take a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Final," 6 June 2019 Elvis Andrus backhanded the ball and threw out Moncada at the plate. Steve Rosenbloom, chicagotribune.com, "Rick Renteria blew a big chance to make a big point with Yoan Moncada," 3 July 2018 Less than a minute later, Nicklas Backstrom backhanded a shot past Fleury, who couldn't recover after sprawling to his right with T.J. Oshie coming around the back of the goal. W.g. Ramirez, baltimoresun.com, "Goalies Holtby, Fleury under siege in Stanley Cup Final Game 1 shootout between Caps, Knights," 29 May 2018 Less than a minute later, Nicklas Backstrom backhanded a shot past Fleury, who couldn’t recover after sprawling to his right with T.J. Oshie coming around the back of the goal. W.g. Ramirez, The Seattle Times, "Goalies under siege in Game 1 shootout between Caps, Knights," 28 May 2018 Now, Gonzalez has become a goalie, backhanding one ball in the dirt, then exploding up and lunging for a Kopech fastball that sails way high and outside the zone. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "On his climb to the White Sox, Michael Kopech searching for a mental 'flow state'," 31 May 2018 Athanasiou, who scored Detroit's only two goals in an overtime win against Ottawa on Wednesday, gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds into the game, skating in from the left and backhanding the puck past Reimer. USA TODAY, "Red Wings beat Panthers 4-2 for 4th straight win," 5 Jan. 2018 Her main objective: Crush every forehand and backhand her coach sent her way. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "The Key to Winning in Women’s Tennis: Create More Offense," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backhand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backhand

Noun

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1695, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1767, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1896, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for backhand

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for backhand

The first known use of backhand was in 1657

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More Definitions for backhand

backhand

noun

English Language Learners Definition of backhand

sports
: a way of hitting a ball in tennis and similar games in which the back of the hand holding the racket is turned in the direction of the ball
: a catch in baseball and similar games that is made on the side of the body that is opposite the hand being used

backhand

noun
back·​hand | \ ˈbak-ˌhand How to pronounce backhand (audio) \

Kids Definition of backhand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stroke in sports played with a racket that is made with the back of the hand turned in the direction in which the hand is moving
2 : a catch (as in baseball) made with the arm across the body and the palm turned away from the body

Kids Definition of backhand (Entry 2 of 2)

: with a backhand caught backhand

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More from Merriam-Webster on backhand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backhand

Spanish Central: Translation of backhand

Nglish: Translation of backhand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about backhand

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