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

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 Phillip Danault got the secondary assist and really made the goal happen with a twirl-around backhanded pass to Durzi that left the Flyers helplessly out of position. Aaron Bracy, ajc, 29 Jan. 2022 The 1-0 lead didn’t last long as CC’s Parker Jamieson answered at 6:07 of the same period with a backhanded rebound after defenseman Nick Condon’s shot from the left point caromed off the goalpost. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, 13 Mar. 2022 Morant showcased his singular style in the second quarter, launching skyward to pirouette midair and dish a backhanded layup off the backboard. Julia Poe,, 27 Feb. 2022 Without hesitation, Tibbs gives the white man a backhanded slap in return. Dennis Mclellan, Los Angeles Times, 7 Jan. 2022 His biggest highlight was a scrambling backhanded pass to Seth Williams that went for 34 yards and led to a field goal. Tim Booth, ajc, 22 Aug. 2021 The adults clink Prosecco flutes and swap backhanded compliments. Jessica Kiang, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2021 If anyone delivers any backhanded compliments about your progress, just brush off their jealousy. Tarot Astrologers,, 11 Nov. 2021 White land-grabbing — the result of a Black sellout’s backhanded collaboration, to the detriment of this nascent Black community’s survival — is what proves the threat. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 9 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near backhanded



backhanded compliment

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Statistics for backhanded

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Backhanded.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for backhanded


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

More from Merriam-Webster on backhanded

Nglish: Translation of backhanded for Spanish Speakers


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