back·​hand·​ed | \ˈbak-ˈhan-dəd \

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

Moncada muffed Jake Cave’s grounder in the second inning but then made a diving backhanded stop on Eduardo Escobar’s sharp grounder in the sixth and, in one fluid motion, wheeled around on one knee to throw to first base. Phil Thompson,, "Yoan Moncada asked to learn error of his ways — and he's not the only one," 29 June 2018 HIGHLIGHTS Detroit center fielder JaCoby Jones made a leaping, twisting, backhanded catch Saturday to take a home run away from Adrian Beltre in the Tigers’ 7-2 win over Texas. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Dreadful Orioles bringing back memories of ’88," 9 July 2018 The backhanded criticism of Jordan was more of a slap at Cuban and the Mavs. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "Never forget how DeAndre Jordan changed the Mavs," 30 June 2018 It wasn’t bombed from his cushy office inside the left faceoff circle, though, but backhanded while tumbling face-first through traffic outside the Vegas crease, an extra dash of grease from a diesel engine. Alex Prewitt,, "Alex Ovechkin 'Possessed' in High-Energy Game 3 Performance," 3 June 2018 Shore took a backhanded pass from Andy Andreoff in the left circle, worked the puck into the slot, and fired a shot over Sateri's glove at 3:09 of the second period. USA TODAY, "Kings goalie Jonathan Quick returns to form against Panthers," 9 Feb. 2018 Boston won a crucial neutral zone faceoff late in its penalty kill, but Chara flubbed a backhanded clearance attempt. Tyler Horka,, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Explosive Third Period Lifts Bruins Past Maple Leafs, on to Round 2," 25 Apr. 2018 When the subject of former President Barack Obama's administration came up in the second interview, Barr paid Jarett a backhanded compliment. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Roseanne Barr: 'I've almost accepted one really good offer to go back on TV'," 2 July 2018 The moves are lauded by gun-safety advocates but criticized by the gun industry that views them as a backhanded way of undermining the Second Amendment. Lisa Marie Pane, Anchorage Daily News, "Corporate America increasingly avoids gun-industry business," 25 June 2018

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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The first known use of backhanded was in 1748

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More Definitions for backhanded



English Language Learners Definition of backhanded

: not direct or sincere

sports : using or done with a backhand


back·​hand·​ed | \ˈbak-ˌhan-dəd \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backhanded

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backhanded

Spanish Central: Translation of backhanded

Nglish: Translation of backhanded for Spanish Speakers

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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