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fore·​hand ˈfȯr-ˌhand How to pronounce forehand (audio)
archaic : superior position : advantage
: the part of a horse that is before the rider
: a forehand stroke (as in tennis or racquets)
also : the side on which such strokes are made

Illustration of forehand

Illustration of forehand
  • forehand 3


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


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: with a forehand stroke

Examples of forehand in a Sentence

Noun She hit a forehand across the court.
Recent Examples on the Web
Our sport features frequent hand battles at the net where players take heavy swings at the ball and send full-force forehands directly at their opponents, standing a mere 14-feet away across the net. Todd Boss, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 This time, Duclair beat Merzlikins with a forehand deke. Eric He, USA TODAY, 18 Feb. 2024 Just 19 seconds after Dmitri Voronkov gave Columbus a two-goal lead at the 7:14 mark of the second, Duclair took a pass from Zetterlund, got in close, and beat Elvis Merzlikins with a backhand to forehand move to score his 11th of the season. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 18 Feb. 2024 In a rematch of their U.S. Open final in September, the two reigning hardcourt Grand Slam champions made contrasting starts as Belarusian Sabalenka fired an ace and revved up her forehand to hold before pouncing on two double faults by Gauff to break. Reuters, NBC News, 25 Jan. 2024 Sinner won the match, finally, with an emphatic forehand down the line. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 28 Jan. 2024 For some reason, a player with a great forehand or backhand is mesmerizing. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2023 His forehands were potent; his drop shots were silken. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2023 This banter volleyed across the court quickly between the man on the fence and his target, who returned serves and hit forehands and walked to retrieve tennis balls only feet away from the color commentary. Rembert Browne, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023
Zheng’s forehand response to Sabalenka’s forehand was often late, and there were times when Sabalenka’s inside-out forehand to Zheng’s backhand seemed to knock the racquet from her grip. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, 27 Jan. 2024 Alone in front of Shesterkin (20 saves), Nosek went forehand-backhand and slipped the puck past the netminder’s left pad. Globe Staff,, 4 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forehand.' 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


1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of forehand was in 1557

Dictionary Entries Near forehand

Cite this Entry

“Forehand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a stroke made with the palm of the hand turned in the direction in which the hand is moving
forehand adverb or adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on forehand

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