back·​hand·​ed | \ ˈbak-ˈhan-dəd How to pronounce backhanded (audio) \

Definition of backhanded

1 : indirect, devious especially : sarcastic a backhanded compliment
2 : using or made with a backhand

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Other Words from backhanded

backhandedly adverb

Examples of backhanded in a Sentence

We were disappointed by his backhanded apology. “You throw okay, for a girl” is a bit of a backhanded compliment
Recent Examples on the Web The Sharks answered at 6:42 when Kane worked the puck around the back of the net and backhanded a pass into the crease, where Labanc was waiting for a deflection and slid the puck past Hill. Jose M. Romero,, "Sharks fall to Coyotes in Arizona," 14 Jan. 2020 Seconds later, Mackenzie MacEachern pounced on a carom off the boards after a dump in that shot out to the front of the net and gave the puck a backhanded push past Corey Crawford. Jimmy Greenfield,, "Patrick Kane’s point streak stalls at 15 as Blackhawks end rough day with 4-0 loss to the Blues," 2 Dec. 2019 Time to give Sean McDermott and the Buffalo Bills some recognition, though the nod here might seem like a backhanded compliment. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NFL roundtable: Which teams and figures are doing the most with the least?," 17 Nov. 2019 And then it gets put onto women, as what feels like a tarnished ‘badge of honor,’ or backhanded compliment. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Is It Time to Stop Describing Women as ‘Badass’?," 13 Nov. 2019 For a quarterback who often gets the backhanded compliment of being a good game-manager, Garoppolo’s stellar performance provided some proof that the 27-year-old might be a little better than people think., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 1 Nov. 2019 Usually foreigners imposed the flamenco identity onto Spain as a backhanded compliment to highlight Spain’s steadfast authenticity. Sandie Holguín, Smithsonian, "The Complicated History of Flamenco in Spain," 24 Oct. 2019 The Lions stayed undefeated (15-0) when Caitlynn Szarko’s backhanded shot, coming out of a penalty corner, bounded into the cage. Pat Stoetzer,, "Field Hockey: Century, Liberty take down Carroll County foes to claim regional titles," 30 Oct. 2019 Lindholm slid him a backhanded feed and Silfverberg buried a snapshot past Talbot’s blocker. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Ducks left frustrated after dominating in final minutes of loss to Flames," 20 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backhanded.' 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 backhanded

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for backhanded

Time Traveler

The first known use of backhanded was in 1748

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Statistics for backhanded

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backhanded.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for backhanded


How to pronounce backhanded (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backhanded

: not direct or sincere
sports : using or done with a backhand


back·​hand·​ed | \ ˈbak-ˌhan-dəd How to pronounce backhanded (audio) \

Kids Definition of backhanded

1 : using or done with a backhand a backhanded catch
2 : not sincere backhanded praise

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More from Merriam-Webster on backhanded

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backhanded

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backhanded

Spanish Central: Translation of backhanded

Nglish: Translation of backhanded for Spanish Speakers

Comments on backhanded

What made you want to look up backhanded? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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