backhand

noun
back·​hand | \ ˈbak-ˌhand \

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 \
variants: or backhanded \ ˈbak-​ˈhan-​dəd \

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

Washington defenseman Michal Kempny’s backhand clear attempt went awry, sliding right onto the tape of Tyler Johnson’s stick. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Alex Killorn helps Lightning even series at two apiece," 18 May 2018 After years of struggles and time away because of four wrist operations, his rebuilt backhand and strong-as-ever forehand make him, once again, someone to consider a contender. Howard Fendrich, The Seattle Times, "From Osaka to umpires, what we learned during wild US Open," 10 Sep. 2018 Martin Verkerk, a big, blond Dutchman with a flashy one-handed backhand of his own, also had not won a round in a Grand Slam tournament before reaching the final of the 2003 French Open. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Unseeded Marco Cecchinato on an Unthinkable Ride at French Open," 5 June 2018 The second baseman made a backhand flip to Bogaerts covering second for a forceout, and Bogaerts threw to first, where Hernandez signaled out for a double play . Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Hernandez reversed on 3 of 4 replays in Yanks-Red Sox Game 3," 8 Oct. 2018 Seattle loaded the bases with no outs, but only got one run because Rougned Odor made a brilliant play on Dee Gordon’s ground ball up the middle, fielding it with the backhand, hustling and stepping on second and throwing off balance to first. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners improve to 9-1 in extra innings, beating Texas 4-3 on a Ryon Healy hit," 6 Aug. 2018 Two 19-year-olds—Denis Shapovalov from Canada and Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece—have flare and hit stylish one-handed backhands. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "A Last Stand for the Golden Age of Men’s Tennis," 24 May 2018 Maybe that’s what wakes him up. … The thought of a 20-mile-an-hour backhand terrifies him. David Meeks, USA TODAY, "'TODAY' show's Savannah Guthrie has major test after Olympics: Facing Roger Federer," 21 Feb. 2018 Elina Svitolina plays a backhand return to Viktória Kužmová during their second-round match at the French Open. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "The Key to Winning in Women’s Tennis: Create More Offense," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Dancs scooped the puck away from Northeastern’s Nolan Stevens at the Huskies’ blue line, skated across two zones while fighting off a defender and backhanded the puck into the far side of the net. John Doyle, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan hockey beats Northeastern, 3-2; Next up: Boston U. on Sunday," 24 Mar. 2018 With two outs and the scored tied 1-1, JaCoby Jones hit a ground ball to third base that Kyle Seager couldn’t backhand with his glove and instead struck his knee, bouncing into foul territory. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners bounce back in Detroit, earn split of twin bill," 12 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

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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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