One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A movement in which a piston or other reciprocating part returns to a previous position.
2An act of striking back; a blow given in return for one received.
3Meteorology. The principal discharge in a lightning stroke, occurring after the leader stroke reaches the ground or an object, and carrying the main current upwards from the ground or object to the cloud.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in The Repertory of Arts. From return + stroke.
return stroke/rɪˈtəːn ˌstrəʊk/
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