fore·​hand | \ ˈfȯr-ˌhand How to pronounce forehand (audio) \

Definition of forehand

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 archaic : superior position : advantage
2 : the part of a horse that is before the rider
3 : a forehand stroke (as in tennis or racquets) also : the side on which such strokes are made



Definition of forehand (Entry 2 of 3)

1 obsolete : done or given in advance : prior
2 : made with the palm of the hand turned in the direction in which the hand is moving a forehand tennis stroke



Definition of forehand (Entry 3 of 3)

: with a forehand stroke

Illustration of forehand

Illustration of forehand


forehand 3

In the meaning defined above

Examples of forehand in a Sentence

Noun She hit a forehand across the court.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wennberg when to the top of the crease and stickhandled the puck to his forehand — still undefended — and beat Bernier. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings respond after gut-punch losses on, off the ice; 'we showed up and battled'," 21 Feb. 2021 Medvedev’s flat, wrap-the-racket-around-his-neck forehand was iffy at first, missing wide, long and into the net in the initial 10 minutes., "Cloud 9: Djokovic wins 9th Australian Open, 18th Slam title," 21 Feb. 2021 One Brady backhand after another flew wide, flew long, or quailed over the net and fell short mid-court, where Osaka could surround the ball with her forehand and swat it, acutely angled, out of reach. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, "Naomi Osaka, the Most Thrilling Athlete of Her Generation, Wins the Australian Open," 20 Feb. 2021 He was equally adept with his forehand and backhand. Washington Post, "Tony Trabert, Hall of Fame tennis champion of the 1950s, dies at 90," 7 Feb. 2021 After his initial shot was blocked, Burns corralled a loose puck in the right circle, cut to the middle between three Wild defenders, shifted from his forehand to backhand and beat Kaapo Kahkonen on the far side for the winner. Mike Cook, Star Tribune, "Brent Burns scores late, helps San Jose beat Minnesota 5-3," 24 Jan. 2021 Having dodged trouble, Williams forged a break of her own one game later, drilling a crosscourt forehand on her third break point for 4-2. Wayne Coffey, USA TODAY, "Serena Williams fights off Maria Sakkari, advances to U.S. Open quarterfinals," 7 Sep. 2020 Osaka broke Kontaveit in the first game of the first set and rarely seemed threatened thereafter, closing the first set with another break, stinging a forehand return on the final point. Wayne Coffey, USA TODAY, "Naomi Osaka defeats Anett Kontaveit at U.S. Open, will play American upstart Shelby Rogers in quarterfinals," 7 Sep. 2020 Rublev saved three set points in the fourth set serving at 4-5, 0-40, then won on his second match point when Fucsovics put a forehand into the net. Jerome Pugmire,, "Emotions flood back for Petra Kvitova; No. 1 Novak Djokovic rolls on," 5 Oct. 2020

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


1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1925, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of forehand was in 1557

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Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for forehand



English Language Learners Definition of forehand

sports : a way of hitting a ball in tennis and similar games in which the palm of the hand holding the racket is turned in the direction of the ball


fore·​hand | \ ˈfȯr-ˌhand How to pronounce forehand (audio) \

Kids Definition of forehand

: a stroke in sports played with a racket made with the palm of the hand turned in the direction in which the hand is moving

More from Merriam-Webster on forehand

Nglish: Translation of forehand for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about forehand

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