Definition of backstroke in English:



  • 1A swimming stroke performed on the back with the arms lifted alternately out of the water in a backward circular motion and the legs extended and kicking.

    ‘I concentrated on the backstroke most of the time’
    as adverb ‘he's getting ready to swim the channel backstroke’
    • ‘Use your arms in a backstroke motion to steer if necessary.’
    • ‘There were individual medleys, as well as backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle events.’
    • ‘Another shows how the grebes' lobed feet travel in a nearly circular pattern when they dive underwater, with the toes folded and rotated to decrease water resistance on the backstroke.’
    • ‘Blackburn council decide to ban the backstroke in a swimming pool in case somebody bumps his or her head.’
    • ‘A lot of kids don't know that there is a backstroke breathing pattern.’
    • ‘He looked proud of himself and fell backwards under the water, doing a backstroke away.’
    • ‘Swimming backstroke gives them a chance to work the kinks out of their tired freestyle muscles with some active rest swimming.’
    • ‘He had a great fly, and his backstroke was technically perfect, but he wasn't strong enough to go faster.’
    • ‘I only watched to begin with and when I did finally get in the water backstroke was the only thing I liked.’
    • ‘Yet, why is the transition turn from backstroke to breaststroke only used in high school swimming?’
    • ‘Last year I had the luxury of swimming a few strokes backstroke so I could get a good look at the Golden Gate Bridge.’
    • ‘Molly's balance in the water is one of the reasons her backstroke is so fast.’
    • ‘A year ago, I would have said that the backstroke was her worst stroke.’
    • ‘Jackie, you're so good at the other strokes like crawl, backstroke, and breaststroke.’
    • ‘The paddles thus acted like hydrofoils generating thrust during the backstroke and also from lift during the recovery stroke.’
    • ‘As you begin the first part of the backstroke arm stroke, your arm enters the water fully extended over your shoulder, pinky finger first with the palm of your hand slightly pitched out to the side.’
    • ‘The backstroke and freestyle tapes are equally valuable.’
    • ‘It helps me to elevate the shoulder that's out of the water when I'm swimming regular backstroke, and it emphasizes hip rotation.’
    • ‘Feet, due to their similar shape while in the freestyle or backstroke mode of kicking, may be compared to the thrust of a ship's propeller.’
    • ‘As well as being a competitive swimming stroke, backstroke has an important role in injury prevention.’
    1. 1.1the backstroke A race, usually of a specified length, in which backstroke is used.
      ‘he was fifth in the 200 m backstroke’
      • ‘He will now line up in the 200 backstroke on Day two before taking on the 100m on Saturday and Sunday.’
      • ‘The 1996 Olympic champion in the 100 backstroke held the world record in the event from 1991-99.’
      • ‘Tara won third place in Swimming 50-meter backstroke in the Inter-Village finals last June.’
      • ‘She also reached the final of the 200m backstroke, 200m breaststroke and 100m freestyle.’
      • ‘He nearly won four more bronzes when fourth in the 50m backstroke and breaststroke, and 100m of both those strokes.’
      • ‘The swimmer also picked up merits in the 4 x 50m freestyle and the 50m backstroke as he was credited with a 4th and 5th placing in the events.’
      • ‘He could have skipped the 200 free and swam the 200 backstroke, which he qualified for at the Olympic Trials but decided not to swim here in Athens.’
      • ‘He won the 100m backstroke and freestyle on day one, and followed up by winning the 100m butterfly on day two.’
      • ‘She went out fast and paid for it late but hung on to win the 100 backstroke.’
      • ‘He also won golds in the 50m backstroke and freestyle.’
      • ‘No child went away disappointed as there were so many races: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, relays and novelty races.’
      • ‘He also won the consolation final of the 100 backstroke with a lifetime best time.’
      • ‘However 15 meters is difficult for most swimmers to sustain in a 200 backstroke.’
      • ‘A triple gold medalist in Sydney, he is searching for a final hurrah on the Olympic stage, namely the defense of his title in the 100 backstroke.’
      • ‘He may be the best freestyle swimmer in the world, but the 100m backstroke was an event he entered to vary his programme.’
      • ‘Biding her time on the opening fly leg, she took over the lead in the backstroke and extended it with every lap.’
      • ‘It marked the first time an American woman had set the 100 meter backstroke world record in nearly 34 years.’
      • ‘He was first in the 100m freestyle, second in the 100m backstroke and individual medley and third in the 100m breaststroke and butterfly.’
      • ‘Katy can't believe her time as she wins the 200 backstroke in a new British and Commonwealth record.’
      • ‘His best events are the 50-meter and 100-meter backstroke, as well as the 200 individual medley.’
  • 2Bell-ringing
    A pull of the tail end of the rope from its highest position so as to swing the bell through a full circle.

    Compare with handstroke
    • ‘This is usually the backstroke of the Treble's full lead.’
    • ‘The signal for this was ringing the treble on it's own for a handstroke and a backstroke.’
    • ‘There are 2 strokes, the back and hand stroke, and you start with learning one – the backstroke is marginally easier - and my coach, Ginny, stood next to me as I felt the weight of the bell for the first time, ready to catch it (the rope not the bell...) if it all went pear-shaped.’