Definition of backhanded in English:

backhanded

adjective

  • 1Made with the back of the hand facing in the direction of movement.

    ‘a backhanded pass’
    • ‘Unfortunately, he doesn't have much range to his right, and he's horrible at fielding the ball backhanded.’
    • ‘He has good range and has made some superb throws after making a backhanded grab on the run.’
    • ‘It proved to be an impossible task, for the cloaked fighter finished the battle with a single backhanded blow as soon as the ref started the match.’
    • ‘Less than four minutes in, he delivered a beautiful backhanded pass that resulted in a three-point play.’
    • ‘He also isn't playing good defense, failing to make the backhanded stops he has made most of the season.’
    • ‘Last Thursday he showed his moxie when he made a diving backhanded catch on a one-hopper.’
    • ‘The second baseman raced over to make a nice backhanded save and threw him out.’
    • ‘The center fielder jumped against the wall attempting a backhanded catch.’
  • 2Indirect; ambiguous or insincere.

    ‘coming from me, teasing is a backhanded compliment’
    • ‘That's sort of a backhanded compliment, so thank you… what was reason number two?’
    • ‘Has anybody here gotten a post-show compliment that was meant sincerely but felt like a backhanded compliment?’
    • ‘I don't really think he meant it as a backhanded compliment, but it was funny, all the same.’
    • ‘The best thing about it, though (and this is going to sound like such a backhanded compliment…) is the opening credits.’
    • ‘If that sounds like a backhanded compliment, it is intended as a compliment nonetheless.’
    • ‘It was not an insult per se, but definitely a backhanded compliment.’
    • ‘Jude nodded and smiled confidently, even if he was slightly confused by Stephen's backhanded compliment.’
    • ‘The backhanded compliment had made her blood rise with both embarrassment and a little bit of annoyance.’
    • ‘It sold 55,000, and people started calling him the best rapper in Britain - a bit of a backhanded compliment, taking into account the whole suitcase-and-waterpistol state of British rap.’
    • ‘It's usually a backhanded compliment to say that the lighting is great, but in this case, it's the simple truth.’
    • ‘Something about Gran's tone suggested that this was only a backhanded compliment.’
    • ‘I mean, neither of us is in the prime of youth anymore and this was a bit of a backhanded compliment.’
    • ‘The poem is a riposte to Lord Beauchamp's backhanded compliment to Australians, ‘Your birthstain you have turned to good.’’
    • ‘This was a backhanded compliment: it implied that everyone was capable of appreciating the highest works of art, whatever their class or ethnic background.’
    • ‘She was the best thing about the show, which sounds like a backhanded compliment but isn't.’
    • ‘It was a backhanded compliment and not a very good one at that.’
    • ‘One time we played with a traditional puppet master from Japan, and he told us that we ‘seemed to really enjoy what we do’, which I guess is kind of a backhanded compliment.’
    • ‘She laughs nervously at the backhanded compliment.’
    • ‘Thank you for the backhanded compliment in admitting I'm intelligent.’
    • ‘I guess this is kind of a backhanded compliment on the performances, but the reality is that the stage performance didn't help at all with the film.’
    indirect, ambiguous, oblique, equivocal
    double-edged, two-edged
    tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, ironic, sardonic
    View synonyms

adverb

  • With the back of the hand or with the hand turned backward.

    ‘Frank hit him backhanded’
    • ‘Unfortunately, he doesn't have much range to his right, and he's horrible at fielding the ball backhanded.’
    • ‘His stabbing was also done backhanded.’

Pronunciation:

backhanded

/bakˈhandəd/