Definition of stroke in English:

stroke

noun

  • 1An act of hitting or striking someone or something; a blow.

    ‘he received three strokes of the cane’
    • ‘The Initiate is scourged, and then in return scourges the Initiator, three strokes for every one received.’
    • ‘The men, too, were making guttural, animal-like noises as they whacked baseline strokes.’
    • ‘But after receiving 75 strokes of the cane, he was granted an early release.’
    • ‘Illegal migrants and those convicted of harboring them now face a mandatory six months in jail and up to six strokes of the cane.’
    • ‘The long clipper strokes are called ‘blows’ and this one, over the sheep's throat is the blow that requires the most skill of all.’
    • ‘Pryce took his opponent's blow upon his shield, easily deflecting the downward stroke.’
    • ‘If proven guilty, he will be sentenced to a maximum of twenty-five years and twelve strokes of the cane. -’
    • ‘The new law, which came into effect Aug.1, entails a mandatory six months in jail and up to six strokes of the cane for illegal immigrants.’
    • ‘Shogun Lodge, his sword in one hand, countered the stroke of the heavy iron sword with an upward movement.’
    • ‘Her hand fell back to Hart who gladly received the stroke.’
    • ‘He traps it between his legs, bends over at 90 degrees, and begins 70 to 150 ‘blows’ or strokes with his shears.’
    • ‘Mullahs accused of teaching friends to read the Qu'ran in Arabic received whippings of 500 strokes or more.’
    • ‘The verb ‘to hit’ still has, as its primary definition, ‘to give or deal a blow or stroke.’’
    • ‘Punishment for those involved was sharp and painful in receiving half a dozen strokes across the bared back with a stiff cane.’
    • ‘Her punishment for the previous night's little escapade had been five swift strokes with a cane, on her bottom.’
    • ‘The stride is divided into three phases: the slap, the stroke, and the recovery.’
    • ‘Six strokes of the cane will be given to ‘Islamic people in Aceh who don't perform Friday prayer for three times consecutively.’’
    • ‘Slavery and feudalism were in the end abolished, with a stroke of the pen followed if necessary by a stroke of the sword.’
    blow, hit, thump, thwack, punch, slap, smack, welt, cuff, box, knock, rap, buffet
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    1. 1.1 A method of striking the ball in sports or games.
      • ‘Though I don't want to be specific with any particular stroke in my game, overall despite the fitness problems, I think I served really well.’
      • ‘DeHann had an excellent spring, showing a line-drive stroke to all fields and superb speed.’
      • ‘US goal keeper Jeb Saez saved a penalty stroke late in the game to keep the score at 11-1.’
      • ‘He forced the Maritzburg goalkeeper, Ryan Gary, to lie on the ball, conceding a penalty stroke.’
      • ‘Each session focuses on particular strokes - no hiding that pathetic backhand volley - and they'll work on your mindset, too.’
      • ‘Last Saturday an 18 hole stroke event was played in three grades.’
      • ‘The one-day game has helped to expand a batsman's range of strokes and given him the confidence to play them.’
      • ‘Gilchrist does not seem to play any defensive strokes.’
      • ‘David Small was the hero when he blasted a 20 meter free to the next with the final stroke of the game.’
      • ‘Always behind, the hosts converted a last-minute penalty stroke against a rejuvenated India team.’
      • ‘Still, if he finds his stroke in the play-offs, New York becomes extremely difficult to defend.’
      • ‘This action is also seen in gymnastics in free exercise and beam routines, in the backhand stroke in racket sports, and in softball batting.’
      • ‘A tough competitor, with a soft stroke for deep, Williams played only two games in Boston, but looked solid.’
      • ‘Kirchoff capped a fine game by converting a penalty stroke with two field goals completing the scoring.’
      • ‘The game went to penalty strokes after both teams failed to score in regulation.’
      • ‘One of Bollettieri's coaches agreed to take her on court and with her first stroke she knocked his hat off.’
      • ‘Berard is the potential home run hitter who hasn't found his long-ball stroke just yet.’
      • ‘But Korea, after missing a penalty stroke, scored three goals but lost by the narrowest of margins.’
      • ‘The scorching backfoot cover-drive and the pick-up stroke on the on-side have fetched him runs in plenty.’
      • ‘The hands and putter head need to work as one unit for the stroke to be effective.’
      shot, hit, strike
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    2. 1.2Golf An act of hitting the ball with a club, as a unit of scoring.
      ‘he won by two strokes’
      • ‘At that moment, Els was four under par, one stroke behind the leaders.’
      • ‘The average 90-shooter loses more strokes due to poor club and shot selection than to a bad swing or missed shot.’
      • ‘Just enter as you play and it keeps track of your strokes, putts and score for a full round.’
      • ‘The Irishman is now two under, three strokes behind Tiger Woods.’
      • ‘For instance, in a wave of eight players, the first person to sink their ball would deduct seven strokes from their score.’
    3. 1.3 The sound made by a striking clock.
      ‘the first stroke would belt out from the clock’
      • ‘Erik closed the door softly behind him as he entered, but it sounded like the stroke of a clock moments before death.’
      • ‘A clock chimed in the distance, its final count ending at eleven strokes.’
      • ‘There was a strong stroke and a weak one, like a sound and its echo.’
      peal, ring, knell, striking, ding-dong, boom
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  • 2A mark made by drawing a pen, pencil, or paintbrush in one direction across paper or canvas.

    ‘the paint had been applied in careful, regular strokes’
    • ‘David bent over his notebook, making a few aimless strokes with his much-used pencil.’
    • ‘Look closely at the pencil strokes in this drawing and you will not see one faltering line.’
    • ‘Has all this material been so bland or so often revisited it wasn't worth a few strokes of the pencil?’
    • ‘He then adds colored tape and marker strokes to the paper, which is subsequently affixed to canvas.’
    • ‘Sometimes the watercolor strokes and the pencil lines run in the same direction, and sometimes they are perpendicular.’
    • ‘I didn't even bother looking up; I just drew faster, making quick violent strokes on the paper.’
    • ‘The coloring tapered off in pencil strokes on the end.’
    • ‘Tiya began by using her pencils to make simple strokes to outline the world she confronted.’
    • ‘Then, tentatively he stained the paper with a few strokes.’
    • ‘She wept violently as she drew, making harsh, thick strokes across the paper.’
    • ‘The strokes and marks of the paint link up across the picture surface to provide a single undifferentiated image.’
    • ‘Katz's forte is history of ideas, on a grand canvas with bold strokes of broad brushes.’
    • ‘Then with the stroke of a pencil you are disposed of.’
    • ‘Sara continued with the gentle strokes until very little color was transferred from brush to paper.’
    • ‘Somehow they look like the artist wanted to save on color and pencil strokes.’
    • ‘Carefully apply paint to the open areas in the stencil using a small brush and light strokes.’
    • ‘The pulled out the drawings for the palace and scrutinized every pencil stroke.’
    • ‘In approving plans for closer monetary ties, Asian governments are painting with bold strokes on a big canvas.’
    • ‘But it only takes five minutes and a pencil stroke to go and vote.’
    mark, line, slash, solidus, virgule
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    1. 2.1 A line forming part of a written or printed character.
      • ‘The most efficient means is based exactly on the strokes of Chinese characters.’
      • ‘The straight horizontal and vertical strokes of the characters had been cut into the shapes of propitious things, such as lucky birds, lotuses and guavas.’
      • ‘Each is pronounced in either the original Chinese or Japanese form and each consists of 24 strokes.’
      • ‘A practical reason is that text full of minimally simple hiragana strokes looks like a carpet pattern, hard to read quickly.’
      • ‘Dongzi draws casual strokes or writes Chinese characters on ceramic ware.’
      • ‘Nushu characters are structured by four kinds of strokes, including dots, horizontals, verticals and arcs.’
      • ‘Of the first letter, all that survives is the freestanding end of a diagonal stroke in the bottom right corner of the letter space.’
      • ‘The beauty lies not only in the paper and strokes, it is also in the meaning of the words written.’
      • ‘Serifs are the short lines stemming from the strokes of letters, like the type you're reading now.’
      • ‘Kanji are the most difficult written Japanese characters, requiring as many as 23 separate strokes.’
    2. 2.2 A short printed or written diagonal line typically separating characters or figures.
  • 3An act of moving one's hand across a surface with gentle pressure.

    ‘massage the cream into your skin using light upward strokes’
    • ‘With gentle strokes of his fingertips, he wiped the wetness from her cheeks.’
    • ‘He was always careful not to touch her, except for his brush, and then with just the gentlest of strokes.’
    • ‘Vary the pressure of your strokes, giving extra-special attention to Hawaii.’
    • ‘Then, using the lightest pressure possible, roll with gentle, overlapping strokes to finish off.’
    • ‘Run the razor under the shower and then begin with some slow, gentle strokes in an upward motion.’
    • ‘Alternatively, apply the toner to the face and neck with a ball of cotton, using smooth, gentle upward strokes.’
    • ‘Silver laid a hand on Yuuba's head and gave it a few gentle strokes.’
    • ‘She soon relaxed though, for the gentle strokes of his hand along her back soothed her troubled nerves.’
    • ‘Play some romantic music, lather him up, and use slow, gentle strokes to shave him.’
    • ‘Rub the salts in gentle circular strokes, avoiding the face and any open sores or cuts (salt stings wounds).’
    • ‘Jane, unconsciously, grabbed his hand and wrapped it between both of hers, soothing it with small, gentle strokes.’
    • ‘The angel kept her strokes even and gentle, humming a tune under her breath.’
    • ‘Experiment with different pressures and different strokes too.’
    • ‘She gave the peacefully sleeping kitten a gentle stroke.’
    • ‘Diane licks his face and her bushy tail wags with happiness as Louis pets her beautiful fur with gentle strokes.’
    • ‘I waited for her to embrace me, but there were no hugs, no gentle strokes, no soothing words of love.’
    • ‘After applying a little warm oil, use a combination of gentle and forceful strokes on the sole and heel, and don't forget the toes.’
    • ‘Because of new electro-static sensors, a gentle stroke on AIBO's head or back will trigger a response without needing to push or click.’
    • ‘For a final time it passed its forearm over the limb and with a gentle stroke of her fur stepped away.’
    • ‘Once you've decided on a shape, make short, light, upward feathery strokes with a soft, well-sharpened pencil to replicate the natural brow hairs.’
    press, tap, pat, nudge, prod, poke, push, glance, flick
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  • 4Each of a series of movements in which something moves out of its position and back into it.

    ‘the ray swam with effortless strokes of its huge wings’
    • ‘Every gesture, every stroke, every movement should be accepted by the system, with nuanced response.’
    • ‘However, as speed increased, fin strokes gradually moved toward synchrony with no discrete transition point.’
    movement, action, motion, move
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    1. 4.1 The whole motion of a piston in either direction.
      • ‘On the downward stroke of the piston, the intake valve opens to release fuel into the combustion chamber, then closes.’
      • ‘Instead, diesel fuel is injected into the cylinder, and the heat and pressure of the compression stroke cause the fuel to ignite.’
      • ‘During the filling stroke of the accumulator piston, the compressed fluid is drawn from the primary piston.’
      • ‘In connection with the four stroke engines, they have proficient use of gas.’
      • ‘This type of exhaust also significantly reduces the excess gasses after each exhaust stroke of the pistons.’
      • ‘During the compression stroke, the piston moves up the cylinder, squeezing this fuel-air mix.’
      • ‘In a wet-sump engine, a shorter stroke also cuts down on oil-pressure problems caused by windage and oil aeration.’
      • ‘Once the piston hits the bottom of its stroke, the exhaust valve opens and the exhaust leaves the cylinder to go out the tail pipe.’
      • ‘Unfortunately he had a tug with a four stroke engine and they powered right through us.’
      • ‘The stroke is the distance that the piston moves up and down.’
    2. 4.2 The rhythm to which a series of repeated movements is performed.
      ‘the rowers sing to keep their stroke’
      • ‘Then make it a habit to monitor your efficiency by constantly counting your strokes in practice repeats.’
    3. 4.3 A movement of the arms and legs forming one of a series in swimming.
      ‘I slipped into the water and swam a few strokes’
      • ‘A good backstroker knows how many strokes to take when they see the flags before flipping over onto their stomachs for the flip turn.’
      • ‘Also, you will not be able to do your flip turn every 18 strokes.’
      • ‘She swam eastward a dozen strokes and stood shivering on the rocky bottom, waiting for Wolf to surface.’
      • ‘I ducked back under the water, spun, and swam a few strokes forward.’
      • ‘I take about two or three strokes, then I dive straight down to the bottom of the pool.’
      • ‘Last year I had the luxury of swimming a few strokes backstroke so I could get a good look at the Golden Gate Bridge.’
      • ‘This article will illustrate some of the key points in the recovery of the first arm stroke out of the breakout in the backstroke.’
      • ‘She swam the few strokes to the edge and clambered out, in a very bad mood.’
      • ‘I can almost hear my heart beat in time with their intense swimming strokes.’
      • ‘He swam towards her and grabbed her little hand and began to swim with powerful strokes towards the shore.’
      • ‘When we started training, the main focus was to swim with a higher stroke rate.’
      • ‘If long, you shorten up the pulling pattern, creating three shorter strokes where there would otherwise be two.’
      • ‘The boy dressed in black immediately dove into the stronger current after her, making his way downstream with powerful strokes.’
      • ‘This is also an indication of the ability to swim with fewer strokes per lap.’
      • ‘Toussaint was illiterate, could not swim a stroke, nor could he operate a boat.’
      • ‘She then walked into the water and began to swim with strong strokes to the middle of the lake.’
      • ‘Merely swimming harder will lower your clock time but raise your stroke count, effectively making all your gains a wash.’
      • ‘When you swim with long strokes you are training all of the muscle mass needed for fast efficient swimming.’
      • ‘Leo Durant could feel the muscles in his arms complain as he forced himself to swim in powerful strokes.’
      • ‘You need to refine your stroke length and pace to maximize your hydrodynamic efficiency.’
      movement, action, motion, move
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    4. 4.4 A particular style of moving the arms and legs in swimming.
      ‘front crawl is a popular stroke’
      • ‘Congested swimming space slows swimmers down, and swimmers swimming different strokes can get in each others way.’
      • ‘First, it is the most difficult stroke to swim correctly because it is based on tempo and rhythm.’
      • ‘Though Mikhaila swims all strokes, she said she likes the backstroke the best.’
      • ‘We had to hold floats between our feet while swimming the butterfly stroke, a difficult task.’
      • ‘Different swimming strokes target different parts of the body, while the buoyancy of the water cushions muscles and joints.’
      • ‘You cannot do the stroke efficiently by doing any of the four movements faster than you can say them.’
      • ‘The same team, swimming individual strokes, also won the medley team race.’
      • ‘Any swimming stroke will help improve your stride, but the butterfly translates best to cross-country skiing.’
      • ‘This motion is a similar one to the movement of freestyle and butterfly strokes, where keeping elbows high is critical.’
      • ‘The more efficient your stroke, the less energy you expend to swim any distance.’
      • ‘This isn't a new concept, but it is being refined in the presentations, if not in the actual swimming strokes.’
      • ‘For both strokes, you should have extremely good elbow bend-around 90 degrees.’
      • ‘Over the years Emily has demonstrated tremendous versatility winning gold medals in all strokes in the regional championships.’
      • ‘The torque or rotation in these strokes occurs in the lower torso, hips and legs.’
      • ‘We swim the full stroke, but change the focus from the hands to the elbows to the shoulders-all the way down to the feet.’
      • ‘If you eliminate the timing between the sculls and the kick, you are not swimming the same stroke.’
      • ‘She is also the only woman to have won golds in three different strokes - freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.’
      • ‘It's not that I can't do certain advanced swimming strokes.’
      • ‘The problem with such exercises is that they are not specific to the swimmer's imbalances or to the different swimming strokes.’
      • ‘Attempts to smooth out his strokes and add efficiency to his swimming proved unsuccessful.’
    5. 4.5 (in rowing) the mode or action of moving the oar.
      • ‘Canada was rating 48 strokes per minute and Australia was right up there on 45.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the United States could find no speed in their short, choppy strokes.’
      • ‘During each training process, the team will complete 200 to 300 strokes at a speed of 75 to 80 strokes per minute.’
      • ‘The oarsmen rotated their oars at four strokes per half minute and didn't show any signs of fatigue.’
      • ‘The 25-year-olds stop in a pool of light, adjust their foot straps, then, as one, lean into their strokes, tearing chunks from the water.’
    6. 4.6 The oar or oarsman nearest the stern of a boat, setting the timing for the other rowers.
      • ‘I managed one kick and had to hang on to the stern before hauling myself back into the stroke seat.’
      • ‘Today Bencsik in stroke took his boat to the lead and for the first half of the race the duo led the field by just over a boat length.’
      • ‘Cech in stroke seat had his boat in a two and a half second lead over Germany's number two crew by the 1000.’
  • 5A sudden disabling attack or loss of consciousness caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain, especially through thrombosis.

    ‘he was left disabled by a stroke’
    mass noun ‘smoking increases the risk of stroke’
    • ‘My wife had a stroke a week after my mother had a stroke.’
    • ‘High cholesterol puts a person at risk of a heart attack or stroke caused by a blood clot, so balance is essential.’
    • ‘About 750,000 new and recurrent strokes occur yearly.’
    • ‘But just recently I found the diary I kept for the first year after the stroke and read the whole thing.’
    • ‘Rupture of a cerebral aneurysm usually results in bleeding in the brain, causing a haemorrhagic stroke.’
    • ‘An ischaemic stroke is when the supply of blood to part of the brain is blocked.’
    • ‘The U.S. medical record says only he suffered heat stroke which led to the coma.’
    • ‘That study also found no reduction in strokes among women who received the study drug.’
    • ‘More serious risks include life-threatening blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.’
    • ‘One percent may not sound like a lot, but 700,000 cases of stroke are expected this year in the U.S.’
    • ‘When Billy Cotton had a stroke he was advised to get rid of the band.’
    • ‘Once patients are medically stable, they should be transferred to a stroke rehabilitation unit if further rehabilitation is required.’
    • ‘The pollution could also restrict their blood flow, causing strokes and heart attacks.’
    • ‘By preventing the formation of blood clots it can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.’
    • ‘They recruited patients from a stroke rehabilitation unit.’
    • ‘Extremely obese people are six times more likely to suffer heat stroke than thin people.’
    • ‘Zsa Zsa Gabor has now begun walking with the help of a cane after her stroke last month.’
    • ‘Adult patients more than 18 years of age were eligible if they had acute ischemic stroke and atrial fibrillation.’
    • ‘There have been other pro athletes that have attempted to mount comebacks after suffering strokes.’
    • ‘For patients who have an acute ischemic stroke, the opportunity to limit the neurological damage is very time sensitive.’
    thrombosis, embolism, cerebral vascular accident, cva, cerebral haemorrhage, ictus, seizure
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Move one's hand with gentle pressure over (a surface), typically repeatedly; caress.

    ‘he put his hand on her hair and stroked it’
    • ‘Meagan sat in front of her dresser, gently stroking her long black hair.’
    • ‘Jim continued to hug her, stroking her curly brown hair gently.’
    • ‘Her arms hooked around his neck, fingers stroking his soft, silky brown hair and tracing the top of his spine.’
    • ‘Christa sighed and enfolded her daughter into a hug, stroking her long black hair.’
    • ‘She stroked the surface of the shell, crooning nonsense words to the tiny baby inside, encouraging it to come into the world.’
    • ‘She kissed me gently, stroking my long black hair.’
    • ‘He stroked the metal surface, and not knowing how it all happened, slowly caused the door to swing on its hinges and open.’
    • ‘I rested my head against her chest, and she gently ran her fingers through my hair and stroked the side of my face.’
    • ‘The first, innocuous shower stroked the lake's surface but, when the wind came up, the loons began to call madly.’
    • ‘In times like these, to stroke the orb's gentle surface was a comfort, yet I fought the urge to wake it from its resting place.’
    • ‘Imaginary fingers combed through his hair, stroked the side of his face.’
    • ‘Anna sat by the bed, once again, stroking his hair, and she stroked his side too.’
    • ‘I longed to stroke her shoulder-length reddish-tinted hair and whisper softly into her ear.’
    • ‘I told my wife about it later and she ran a hand through my hair, stroking the sides of my head as it rested on her chest.’
    • ‘She took one flower in her hands and stroked the velvety surface of the petals.’
    • ‘After stroking his dark brown hair to soothe him she fell into bed asleep in seconds.’
    • ‘‘It's alright,’ he said soothingly, stroking her long blonde hair.’
    • ‘Mrs. Taylor gives Madison to her father, and he holds her, lovingly stroking her long golden hair.’
    • ‘She stayed at his side for some time again, talking to him and stroking his curly brown hair.’
    • ‘She thought about that hand touching and stroking and caressing her, and another strong wave of awareness washed over her.’
    caress, fondle, pat, pet, touch, brush, rub, massage, knead, soothe
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    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of place Apply (something) to a surface using a gentle movement.
      ‘she strokes blue eyeshadow on her eyelids’
      • ‘She pulled out a blue lipstick and stroked it across her lips.’
      • ‘He murmured quietly, stroking the marks down his arm.’
      • ‘Lipstick had stroked a thin line across her lips, while delicately manicured and bejewelled fingers beat out an impatient rhythm on the menu cover.’
      pat, press, touch, blot, mop, swab, smudge
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    2. 1.2North American informal Reassure or flatter (someone), especially in order to gain their cooperation.
      ‘production executives were expert at stroking stars and brokering talent’
      • ‘He had us in the palm of his baby-sized hands and instead of choking us in his usual cynicism, he joked with us and stroked us affectionately.’
      • ‘He's a very personable individual, and they like it when they go over and stroke him.’
      • ‘If you're not taking care of me, stroking me, anticipating my whims - you must be doing something wrong.’
  • 2Act as the stroke of (a boat or crew)

    ‘he stroked the coxed four to victory’
    • ‘Together they won the third heat today with their only real challenge coming from a higher stroking Great Britain crew.’
    • ‘The York City coxed four, stroked by Oliver Gill, were second fastest coxed boat of the day.’
    • ‘The Queensland crew was stroked by World Junior Silver medallist in the single scull Eugene Arendsen.’
    • ‘Today he stroked his crew to a World Championship finals berth but not before fighting off the Australians.’
    • ‘Also qualifying is Russia and the 2000 Olympic gold crew from Italy stroked by Alessio Sartori.’
  • 3Hit or kick (a ball) smoothly and deliberately.

    ‘Markwick stroked the ball home’
    • ‘The midfield trialist had the time and space to calmly stroke the ball into the unguarded net.’
    • ‘Beckham slide-rules a pass to Raul, who strokes the ball to Figo out on the right.’
    • ‘Kaka strokes the ball beyond the far post, from where Adriano hooks it back across goal.’
    • ‘Early possession for Spain B, who are stroking the ball around nicely among themselves.’
    • ‘Bafana started off casually stroking the ball around.’
    • ‘A few hours later, he was stroking the last ball of the day to the boundary to bring up a century.’
    • ‘With the pace of the second set of new balls Udomchoke strokes back Henman's first serve with venom.’
    • ‘He stroked over the conversion to put the Dalesmen back on terms at 7-7.’
    • ‘The referee indicated that it would be the final kick of normal time, and Bell showed no signs of nerves as he stroked the ball over.’
    • ‘Geraghty stroked the ball to all parts and reached 50 from a team total of 65 before being dismissed on 89.’
    • ‘Such was the difference in class that All Stars stroked the ball around with a nonchalance that sometimes bordered on the arrogant.’
    • ‘For half an hour he had showed himself, through the unhurried ease with which he stroked the ball around, to be a cut above.’
    • ‘He picked out Mark O'Brien and the full forward calmly stroked the ball into the net.’
    • ‘Eddie was cool and stroked the ball over to give his side sweet revenge by the narrowest of margins.’
    • ‘The way he strokes the ball around a football pitch is akin to the way his compatriot van Gogh stoked a paintbrush over a canvass.’
    • ‘The huge Dutch contingent in the crowd is in fine voice as their players stroke the ball around.’
    • ‘Simon Smith stroked over the conversion to put his side 7-0 in front.’
    • ‘Monaco's players are just stroking the ball around for fun now, with the Chelsea players reduced to chasing shadows.’
    • ‘Barcelona stroke the ball around the field, defying Chelsea's players to come and win it from them.’
    • ‘Manchester United are stroking the ball around the field for sport now.’

Phrases

  • at a (or one) stroke

    • By a single action having immediate effect.

      ‘attitudes cannot be changed at a stroke’
      • ‘This more than doubled Artemis's size at a stroke, as well as giving it a much stronger marketing platform on which to build.’
      • ‘It was, in truth, a compromise, and the working arrangement suddenly threatens to come crashing down at a stroke.’
      • ‘Local residents have been stunned by the plans, which would double the size of the local population at a stroke.’
      • ‘The interlinking of rivers in the country can also solve the multiple problem of drought and unavailability of water at one stroke.’
      • ‘That would do it, world peace at one stroke of the cheque book.’
      • ‘And he is probably calculating his salary will double or treble at a stroke.’
      • ‘That suffering could be alleviated at one stroke by lifting the sanctions.’
      • ‘Towns don't often get the opportunity to double its centre at a stroke.’
      • ‘We can restore parental choice at one stroke of the minister's pen.’
      • ‘Why not get rid of the agricultural protection at one stroke?’
      immediately, at once, straight away, right away, instantaneously, suddenly, abruptly, all of a sudden, on the instant, at a stroke, forthwith, then and there, there and then, here and now, that minute, this minute, that very minute, this very minute, that instant, this instant
      View synonyms
  • not (or never) do a stroke of work

    • Do no work at all.

      ‘he has long, pale hands which have clearly never done a stroke of work’
      • ‘It was said that Winston's father, Randolph, never did a stroke of work in his whole life, and neither did his mother Jennie.’
      • ‘Lucretia is one of those lucky movie journalists who never does a stroke of work.’
      • ‘He never did a stroke of work in his life.’
      • ‘He gets money in plenty; he fasts no oftener than other Mohammedans; he has two wives; he never does a stroke of work.’
      • ‘In a tiny cottage near the king's palace there once lived an old man, his wife, and his son, a very lazy fellow, who would never do a stroke of work.’
      • ‘Now we hear that you have some among you living quite undisciplined lives, never doing a stroke of work.’
      • ‘He was charming and funny and a great story teller, and he never did a stroke of work.’
      • ‘I am free as the air, and never do a stroke of work; and, as for fodder, I have only to go to the hills and there I find far more than enough for my needs.’
      • ‘From the day of the accident he never did a stroke of work.’
      • ‘The best person that has ever worked with my cutting machines is a boy only 18 years old, who never did a stroke of work in his life before that.’
  • on the stroke of —

    • Precisely at the specified time.

      ‘he arrived on the stroke of two’
      • ‘There was a very fine attendance at the Christmas Eve Mass which ended on the stroke of midnight.’
      • ‘Their lead didn't last long, however, as right on the stroke of half-time the sides were level again.’
      • ‘Jones notched a penalty on the stroke of halftime to make it 15-6.’
      • ‘The all-clear was officially given on the stroke of New Year's Day.’
      • ‘Finally, at the stroke of midnight, they started back for her hotel.’
      • ‘At the stroke of noon Company A would start blowing up what was left.’
      • ‘Wicklow came again and grabbed the winner just on the stroke of time.’
      • ‘Athy were unlucky not to add another try on the stroke of full time.’
      • ‘Derry finally crossed for North Yorkshire on the stroke of half-time following a flowing cross-field move.’
      • ‘Thousands of fireworks were let off in the castle grounds at the stroke of midnight to mark to the start of the New Year.’
      precisely, exactly, right, directly, immediately, squarely, just, dead
      View synonyms
  • put someone off their stroke

    • Disconcert someone so that they do not work or perform as well as they might.

      ‘the man's presence put him off his stroke on the phone’
      • ‘That's the noise that puts them off their stroke at the Dubbo golf course.’
      annoy, irritate, irk, vex, nettle, needle, anger, exasperate
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  • stroke of genius

    • An outstandingly brilliant and original idea.

      ‘the new piece of propaganda was a stroke of genius’
      • ‘Sure, many fashion designers are extremely creative people with occasional strokes of genius.’
      • ‘The match, tight as it inevitably will be, could be decided by one stroke of genius.’
      • ‘Though fixing the tower in this way was thought to be a stroke of genius, it was also considered a hazardous way to go.’
      • ‘This seemed like a brilliant stroke of genius - until the guys at the other side of the intersection did the same thing.’
      • ‘And then one day, it came to me like a stroke of genius.’
      • ‘Someone had hit upon a bold concept, a stroke of genius, in fact.’
      • ‘A bad idea does not become a stroke of genius just because you place it on the web.’
      • ‘Alan Rickman as Snape was a brilliant stroke of genius.’
      • ‘This bit of the information was Robert Shields' idea, a stroke of genius.’
      • ‘The whole C.M. Punk storyline several months ago was a stroke of pure genius.’
      feat, accomplishment, achievement, attainment, coup, master stroke, stratagem
      View synonyms
  • stroke of (good) luck

    • A fortunate occurrence that could not have been predicted or expected.

      ‘it was a stroke of luck that he hadn't left yet’
      • ‘The father gives up in despair and then, by a miraculous stroke of luck, he spots the bicycle thief and pursues him into a brothel.’
      • ‘By a stroke of luck, his enemies are also divided.’
      • ‘Having different cultures is a stroke of luck for a country.’
      • ‘There were two key strokes of luck on the night.’
      • ‘And it is only a stroke of luck which has helped him gain a middle order slot in the first and second Tests.’
      • ‘By some stroke of luck, she had dropped the knife on her foot.’
      • ‘Do we rejoice at this stroke of luck, nourish and expand on it?’
      • ‘It was a stroke of luck that set him on the right path.’
      • ‘So one of the hijackers gets through really by a stroke of luck.’
      • ‘When you lose, don't lose the lesson - remember that not getting what you want can sometimes be a wonderful stroke of luck.’

Origin

Old English strācian ‘caress lightly’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch streek ‘a stroke’, German streichen ‘to stroke’, also to strike. The earliest noun sense ‘blow’ is first recorded in Middle English.

Pronunciation

stroke

/strəʊk/