back·​stroke ˈbak-ˌstrōk How to pronounce backstroke (audio)
: a swimming stroke executed on the back and usually consisting of alternating circular arm pulls and a flutter kick
backstroker noun

Examples of backstroke in a Sentence

She got into the pool and began to do the backstroke. She won the 50-meter backstroke.
Recent Examples on the Web In the pool, Smith won the women’s 200 butterfly after previously setting a world record in the 100 backstroke. Paul Newberry, Twin Cities, 20 June 2024 Murphy won the men’s 100-meter backstroke to continue a run of excellence that dates to his breakout at Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Paul Newberry, Baltimore Sun, 18 June 2024 In the 100 backstroke, American senior Edward Huang was second (47.55), Kim took third (47.88) and Clayton Valley’s Diego Castaneda came in fourth (48.02). Nathan Canilao, The Mercury News, 11 May 2024 Three-time Olympian Ryan Murphy, as expected, won the men’s 200 back to complete a historic sweep of the backstroke events here, becoming the first male swimmer to pull off that feat at three consecutive U.S. trials. Dave Sheinin, Washington Post, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for backstroke 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backstroke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of backstroke was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near backstroke

Cite this Entry

“Backstroke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


back·​stroke -ˌstrōk How to pronounce backstroke (audio)
: a swimming stroke made by a swimmer who lies in the water facing upward

More from Merriam-Webster on backstroke

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!