fore·hand | \ˈfȯr-ˌhand \

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


She hit a forehand across the court.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Friday’s 155-minute match was a clash of styles, as Andre Saleh looked to set up winners with his big forehand while Austin Di Giulio played a lot of defensive tennis behind the baseline. Matt Szabo,, "Austin Di Giulio fights back to beat Andre Saleh in all-Newport match," 23 June 2018 On the opening point of his first service game against Rafael Nadal on Monday in the French Open, Maximilian Marterer got into an eight-shot rally and committed a forehand error to lose the point. Craig O’shannessy, New York Times, "Why the Forced Error Does Not Get Its Due in Tennis," 8 June 2018 About the difficulty of dividing her time between family and forehands. Howard Fendrich,, "Serena Williams vs. Evgeniya Rodina: Mom vs. Mom," 8 July 2018 In the fifth set, Thiem netted a forehand to give Sandgren, ranked 97th, the break and a 4-2 lead, and Thiem never recovered. USA TODAY, "The Latest: Pliskova to face Halep in Australian Open QF," 21 Jan. 2018 Nadal then saved three break points and navigated six deuces in the critical eighth game before holding to 5-3 with a running forehand winner down the line. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "On a Wild Day at Wimbledon, Federer Exits and Nadal Hangs On," 11 July 2018 Many of the best points came in the tiebreaker, including a 23-shot rally that Nadal finished off with a forehand half-volley drop shot to set up his first set point. Mattias Karen,, "Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal to finish their Wimbledon semifinal Saturday," 13 July 2018 Kerber controlled the match, booking her spot in the final when Ostapenko flailed a forehand wide on the second match point in the match. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Angelique Kerber earns spot in Wimbledon final after cruising past Jelena Ostapenko," 12 July 2018 Nadal saved another break point in a rally, and then saved another when del Potro clubbed a forehand wide. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "Kevin Anderson Upsets Roger Federer at Wimbledon," 11 July 2018

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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Statistics for forehand

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for forehand

The first known use of forehand was in 1557

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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 \

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

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