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 But recently, Republicans have used the procedure as a backhanded way to kill a piece of legislation, or at least create further division among Democrats by bringing up pain points. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "House Democrats face obstacles governing with slim majority," 20 Dec. 2020 In the process, Norvell took a backhanded shot at Swinney’s infantile implication that FSU was somehow scared to play Clemson. Mike Bianchi,, "Clemson coach Dabo Swinney makes a fool of himself by accusing FSU of being COVID cowards | Commentary," 12 Sep. 2020 Speaking to a New Hampshire rally days earlier, Trump offered some backhanded praise for the senator from the neighboring state. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "‘They agree with me.’ Trump courts Sanders supporters at rallies; progressives say it won’t work," 27 Oct. 2020 Amid a mostly strong performance, Roethlisberger completed two overly ambitious passes — a backhanded high flip and a backward pass. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Chargers reaped apparent bonanza from Philip Rivers’ final rough ride," 26 Oct. 2020 This was the Graig Nettles defensive clinic series, as the Yankees third baseman saved several runs with outstanding backhanded grabs and long throws to retire runners. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers World Series history: 20 times they played for title," 19 Oct. 2020 Despite the Browns being 4-1, Mayfield continues to receive backhanded compliments or ridicule for his performance this season. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "Kevin Stefanski is ‘Instagramming’ for Baker Mayfield, says ESPN analyst," 14 Oct. 2020 Besides Margot’s spectacular catch, Adames made a nice sliding backhanded stop of a grounder by Bregman in the third and threw to first baseman Ji-Man Choi, who stretched out to catch it. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Astros-Rays live stream (10/13): How to watch ALCS game 3 online, TV, time," 13 Oct. 2020 That Cole had not allowed a hit at that point was aided by an official scorer’s judgment on a tough backhanded chance for Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres with one out in the fourth inning. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rays shock Yankees with late homer for 2-1 ALDS-clinching victory," 9 Oct. 2020

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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Backhanded.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backhanded

Nglish: Translation of backhanded for Spanish Speakers

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