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



Definition of backhand (Entry 2 of 4)

: made with a backhand a backhand tennis stroke


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

Definition of backhand (Entry 3 of 4)

: with a backhand


backhanded; backhanding; backhands

Definition of backhand (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to do, hit, or catch backhand

Illustration of backhand

Illustration of backhand


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 Los Angeles averted a shutout 16 seconds after Kane's second goal when Kopitar went top shelf on a backhand in front of the net. Joe Reedy, ajc, 7 May 2022 Letunov tried to thread a backhand pass back to Greco but hit the leg of a Charlotte defender. Hartford Courant, 10 Apr. 2022 Johnny Beecher sent a backhand right into the Denver goalie’s midsection. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 8 Apr. 2022 Shorthanded, Dureau reads a bounce off the boards better than Conner Roulette, gets a breakaway from center ice, and scores on the backhand. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 3 Apr. 2022 The Predators scored early in the second with Forsberg hitting a post and later stopped by Knight on a backhand try. Teresa M. Walker,, 9 Apr. 2022 The Canadians answered 26 seconds later with Sarah Nurse’s spin-around backhand pass setting up Jenner for a one-timer in front. John Wawrow, ajc, 8 Feb. 2022 Swiatek won the set on her third chance, when Sakkari hit a backhand into the net. Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2022 First, Dani Cameranesi knotted the game at 1, and Alex Carpenter gave the Americans the lead with a sweet backhand that went to the top shelf on the team’s third power play of the contest. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hellberg made a good save on a backhand attempt by Fabian Zetterlund in the first period, but Dawson Mercer forced Seider into committing a turnover that ended with Mercer stuffing the puck on Hellberg late in the period. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 30 Apr. 2022 Nadal got a break back in closing to 5-3, but his backhand error gave Fritz another break and the set. Fox News, 21 Mar. 2022 Canadiens goalie Jake Allen was helpless to stop Brad Marchand's backhand for the game-winner 34 seconds into overtime., 21 Mar. 2022 In the second quarter, Hirshfield converted a strong backhand shot and Dimeo followed with another goal 30 seconds later to increase the Vikings’ lead to 6-3 with 4:36 left. Glae Thien, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Feb. 2022 Greiss made eight saves in the first period, including stopping Barclay Goodrow's wrist shot from just outside the crease and denying Chris Kreider on a backhand attempt. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 18 Feb. 2022 Fiona Holland scored from just outside the slot, netting a wrister inside the left post moments before sophomore Claire Joyce’s spinning backhand goal from in close capped off a stellar start to the first period for Braintree (11-2-1). Cam Kerry,, 5 Feb. 2022 When a backhand half-volley from Stephens hit the net to end the match, Raducanu dropped her racket and covered her face with her hands, a reaction rarely seen from a top player after a first-round win. New York Times, 18 Jan. 2022 When a backhand return from Vondrousova sailed long on Bencic's second match point, Bencic fell to the court on her back before the ball even landed. Star Tribune, 31 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb In the tiebreak, Alcaraz earned an early mini-break and then ripped a two-handed backhand up the line for a 3-1 lead. Adam Zagoria, Forbes, 7 May 2022 The left-handed Nadal repeatedly pounded the Italian’s backhand and took him out of his comfort zone. Adam Zagoria, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 But Nadal closed it out by pulling Opelka out of the court and the American's backhand landed wide. Beth Harris, ajc, 17 Mar. 2022 Knight’s no-look backhand through the crease set up Harmon for a tap-in at the right post to open the scoring 12:29 in. John Wawrow,, 5 Feb. 2022 Korda’s versatile and aggressive game, distinguished by his punishing backhand, is a marvel. Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2022 Nadal really mixed it up beginning the second set and went to his bag of tricks by serving-and-volleying, hitting the slice backhand and using several drop shots when Medvedev was way back in the court. Adam Zagoria, Forbes, 30 Jan. 2022 The Avalanche star skated in on net during a power play and went backhand to get the puck past Vejmelka. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 16 Jan. 2022 Djokovic faced a set point in the 10th game, but won a 26-shot rally when Tsitsipas hit backhand long., 13 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Smith dodged from behind the cage wrapping a backhand shot in mid-air past Gladstone. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 14 May 2022 Gostisbehere scored from long range when Jakob Chychrun couldn't gather in a puck and managed to send a backhand pass to his teammate for the shot. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 26 Feb. 2022 Andy Andreoff collected a loose puck at the top of the crease and threaded a backhand pass through traffic to Chris Terry, who fired a shot by Wolf Pack starter Adam Húska 14:47 into the game. Staff Reports,, 20 Feb. 2022 Rasmus Ristolainen displayed stellar stickwork in the slot before a backhand pass to Mayhew, whose wrister from a sharp angle beat Quick. Aaron Bracy, ajc, 29 Jan. 2022 Kozak fumbles the puck but is able to backhand it back to Cagnoni who manages to get it through a diving Vikman. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 25 Nov. 2021 Vladislav Namestnikov moved the puck into Columbus’ zone along the boards, pulled up and slipped a backhand pass to Rasmussen, who fired a shot from the top of the left circle. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 16 Nov. 2021 Luke Jackson took the baton in the seventh and retired the side in order, thanks to a nice backhand play and bouncing throw across the diamond by Austin Riley to get Yuli Gurriel ending the inning. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 30 Oct. 2021 One of the others was Chris Kelly, who started the Bruins’ 2013-14 season with a backhand tuck against Tampa., 17 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of backhand


1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1695, in the meaning defined above


1767, in the meaning defined above


circa 1896, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of backhand was in 1657

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Backhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for backhand


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


adverb or adjective

Kids Definition of backhand (Entry 2 of 2)

: with a backhand


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