side·​stroke ˈsīd-ˌstrōk How to pronounce sidestroke (audio)
: a swimming stroke which is executed on the side and in which the arms are swept in separate strokes towards the feet and downward and the legs do a scissors kick

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In mid-August 2018, Dr. Bill Lytton, a computational neuroscientist and physician at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, was swimming south from Longnook Beach in Truro, alternating between sidestroke and breaststroke, moving parallel to shore in water about eight feet deep. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2021 Morgan learned how to rely on the sidestroke and breaststroke, so his legs and arms never broke the surface of the water. Andrew Dubbins, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Aug. 2022

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

1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sidestroke was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near sidestroke

Cite this Entry

“Sidestroke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


side·​stroke -ˌstrōk How to pronounce sidestroke (audio)
: a swimming stroke made while lying on the side by sweeping the arms downward and backward underwater while the legs do a scissors kick

More from Merriam-Webster on sidestroke

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