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

Federer’s forehand, which had been so sharp in the early going, started producing errors. Christopher Clarey,, "Roger Federer eliminated at Wimbledon," 11 July 2018 Amid a game-point rally that featured four returns on each side, Tran painted the corner with a powerful forehand past the outstretched racket of Dandler to take a 3-1 lead. Josh Criswell,, "Newport Beach’s Paul Dandler’s run ends at Southern California Junior Sectional Championships," 17 June 2018 Aleksander Barkov continues to cement his status as the league’s best shootout specialist, scoring again on Saturday night by beating Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a forehand shot in the second round. Matthew Defranks,, "The Next Day Look: Florida Panthers 4, New York Rangers 3 (SO)," 11 Mar. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

27 Nov 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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More from Merriam-Webster on forehand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forehand

Spanish Central: Translation of forehand

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

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