back·​stroke | \ ˈbak-ˌstrōk How to pronounce backstroke (audio) \

Definition of backstroke

: a swimming stroke executed on the back and usually consisting of alternating circular arm pulls and a flutter kick

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Other Words from backstroke

backstroker \ ˈbak-​ˌstrō-​kər How to pronounce backstroker (audio) \ 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

Thoughts of a Leviathan dragging me under sent me quickly in reverse, swimming backstroke under massive stalactites hanging two stories above like divebombing dragons. Patrick Scott, WSJ, "A Blow-Your-Mind Adventure in Vietnam’s Caves," 13 Nov. 2018 Farrar won both his freeestyle races, and Nixdorf won the backstroke with a second-place finish in the butterfly. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Arrowhead, Kettle Moraine/Oconomowoc hockey teams both on fire," 18 Jan. 2018 In the immediate future are more events — the 50-meter butterfly and the 200 backstroke — then thinking about university and more swimming either in the United States or Australia. John Pye, Fox News, "Testing time for Sri Lanka swimmer Peiris at Asian Games," 22 Aug. 2018 Highlights from girls events included two medals from Episcopal junior Delaney Newsome, who took silver in the individual medley before winning the backstroke (1:00.47). Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "St. John's, Kinkaid lead Houston SPC winter sweep," 23 Feb. 2018 For Munster, sophomore Holden Raffin racked up first places in the 200 individual medley (1:52.36) and the 100 backstroke (50.45). Anthony Nasella, Post-Tribune, "Crown Point's Evan Holland has jewel of a performance in swimming sectional," 18 Feb. 2018 Zach Miller qualified in the 100 freestyle (second, 49.48) and in the 100 backstroke (second, 55.55). Andrew Gruman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Whitefish Bay swim finishes as sectional runner-up, Cedarburg moves seven entries on to state meet," 14 Feb. 2018 McDonogh’s boys: Colin Bitz (100 backstroke), Derek Nguyen (100 breaststroke), Ben Merz, Selnick Alexander Zuga and Nguyen for the 200 freestyle relay. Katherine Dunn,, "McDonogh, Loyola swimmers named high school All-Americans," 5 July 2018 For the 13-14 50-yard backstroke, Hunter Null(30.61), Spencer Meyers (33.90) and Harrison Brown (36.07) were the top three. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Seal swimmers post strong times in CCSL opener," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backstroke.' 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 backstroke

1863, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for backstroke

The first known use of backstroke was in 1863

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English Language Learners Definition of backstroke

: a way of swimming in which a person floats in the water facing upward while kicking the legs and rotating the arms also : a race in which the swimmers do the backstroke

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More from Merriam-Webster on backstroke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backstroke

Spanish Central: Translation of backstroke Encyclopedia article about backstroke

Comments on backstroke

What made you want to look up backstroke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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