American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Sports A swimming stroke performed on one's back, especially one using alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick.
- n. Sports A race or a leg of a race in which this stroke is swum.
- n. A backhanded stroke or motion.
- n. A stroke or motion in the direction of an original starting point: a saw that cuts on the backstroke.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A blow or stroke in return.
- n. A backhanded stroke; a back-hander.
- n. In telegraphy, the return-stroke of the lever in a telegraph-sounder.
- n. Diastolic impulse of the heart, a faint beat occurring as the blood enters the ventricles.
- n. A swimming stroke swum lying on one's back, while rotating both arms through the water as to propel the swimmer backwards.
- n. The pull on the tail of the rope that swings the bell through a full circle (compare handstroke)
- v. To swim the backstroke.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. a swimming stroke that resembles the crawl except the swimmer lies on his or her back. It is usually executed with backward-moving circular arm strokes and a flutter kick.
- v. swim on one's back
- n. a swimming stroke that resembles the crawl except the swimmer lies on his or her back
- back + stroke (Wiktionary)
“It's a good confidence booster to know that the backstroke is there," Phelps said.”
“In each, Ogawa deploys an precise style that maintains an eerie distance between the narrator and event, her words clinical and charged with meaning, always leading with a slow build that concludes with a twist – although backstroke is probably more apt.”
“The performances churned chatter about the Spitz standard, and Thorpe fed it by testing himself in backstroke and IM events.”
“Lenny Krayzelburg, the American who holds the world record of 24.99 in the 50 backstroke, is recovering from shoulder surgery and is not competing.”
“I trusted she knew what she was doing even when she weaved between the couples doing what I could only call the backstroke, but out of water.”
“The backstroke is my best stroke, but the 100-yard isn't my best event," said Dempsey, who also finished 10th in the 200 individual medley (in 1: 58.53) at state this year.”
“His time of 1 minute, 1.52 seconds in the backstroke was a state qualifying mark.”
“Wyomissing sophomore Katie Duggan is eighth in the 100 backstroke, which is where she finished last year.”
“Her time in the backstroke was a new state-qualifying mark.”
“Then it swings back in the opposite direction as the ringer pulls the tail-end of the rope towards the floor (the "backstroke").”
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