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

With aggressive play, a strong backhand and an 81% win percentage on first serve, Pegula took only 59 minutes to down her Italian opponent. Tess Demeyer, USA TODAY, "American Jessica Pegula captures first career women’s singles title at Citi Open," 4 Aug. 2019 Nicole Gibbs makes a backhand return during a World Team Tennis match for the Orange County Breakers in 2016. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Nicole Gibbs’ cancer battle has bolstered her commitment to tennis," 21 July 2019 Federer is the elegant statesman with the one-handed backhand and balletic footwork. Jason Gay, WSJ, "A Tennis Geezer Pleaser: Federer, Nadal to Renew Battle at Wimbledon," 11 July 2019 Svitolina failed to serve out the match on her first attempt at 5-2 but later converted her first match point when Muchova missed a backhand return. Chris Lehourites, Houston Chronicle, "Serena Williams outlasts Alison Riske to reach Wimbledon semis," 9 July 2019 Federer saved the first with a second serve that jammed Djokovic’s backhand. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Novak Djokovic Wins Wimbledon, Outlasting Roger Federer," 14 July 2019 The campers hit forehand and backhand shots over the net before heading back into line for further practice. Charles Rich, latimes.com, "Youth tennis camp still coming up aces for players," 12 July 2019 For years, Nadal was able to beat Federer with a steady diet of high-spinning lefty forehands to Federer’s one-handed backhand, an awkward shot that put him on the defensive in most of their meetings. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Latest Federer-Nadal match will have a huge impact on each player's legacy," 11 July 2019 The between-the-leg shots, the unnecessary leaping backhands and all the rest. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "After all the fireworks Rafael Nadal ousts Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon," 4 July 2019

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

17 Aug 2019

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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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