Meaning of STROKE in English


I. stroke 1 S3 /strəʊk $ stroʊk/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Origin: Probably from an unrecorded Old English strac ]

1 . ILLNESS if someone has a stroke, an ↑ artery (=tube carrying blood) in their brain suddenly bursts or becomes blocked, so that they may die or be unable to use some muscles:

She died following a massive stroke.

have/suffer a stroke

I looked after my father after he had a stroke.

a stroke patient


a) one of a set of movements in swimming or rowing in which you move your arms or the ↑ oar forward and then back:

She swam with strong steady strokes.

b) a style of swimming or rowing:

the breast stroke

3 . SPORT the action of hitting the ball in games such as tennis, ↑ golf , and ↑ cricket :

a backhand stroke


a) a single movement of a pen or brush when you are writing or painting:

A few strokes of her pen brought out his features clearly.

b) a line made by a pen or brush:

the thick downward strokes of the characters

5 . at a/one stroke with a single sudden action:

At one stroke, the country lost two outstanding leaders.

6 . on the stroke of seven/nine etc at exactly seven o'clock etc:

She arrived home on the stroke of midnight.

The only goal of the match came on the stroke of half time.

7 . stroke of luck/fortune something lucky that happens to you unexpectedly:

In a stroke of luck, a suitable organ donor became available.

8 . stroke of genius/inspiration etc a very good idea about what to do to solve a problem:

It was a stroke of genius to film the movie in Toronto.

9 . HIT an action of hitting someone with something such as a whip or thin stick:

He cried out at each stroke of the whip.

10 . A MOVEMENT OF YOUR HAND a gentle movement of your hand over something:

I gave her hair a gentle stroke.

11 . with/at a stroke of the pen if someone in authority does something with a stroke of the pen, they sign an official document to make a decision with important and serious results:

He had the power to order troops home with a stroke of his pen.

12 . not do a stroke (of work) British English informal to not do any work at all

13 . stroke of lightning a bright flash of lightning, especially one that hits something

14 . CLOCK/BELL a single sound made by a clock giving the hours, or by a bell, ↑ gong etc

15 . put somebody off their stroke British English informal to make someone stop giving all their attention to what they are doing:

Seeing Frank watching me put me off my stroke.

16 . IN NUMBERS British English used when you are saying a number written with the mark (/) in it SYN slash :

The serial number is seventeen stroke one (=17/1) .

• • •


■ verbs

▪ have/suffer a stroke

My father had a stroke.

▪ a stroke leaves somebody paralysed (=someone can no longer move as the result of a stroke)

Two years later she had a stroke which left her paralysed.

■ adjectives

▪ a massive/major stroke (=one that has very bad effects)

Her brother has just died of a massive stroke.

▪ a minor/mild stroke (=one that does not have very bad effects)

She had a minor stroke five years ago.

▪ a fatal stroke (=one that kills someone)

He suffered a fatal stroke in April.

■ stroke + NOUN

▪ a stroke patient/victim

Some stroke victims recover fully.

II. stroke 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Sense 1-2,4: Language: Old English ; Origin: stracian ]

[ Sense 3: Date: 1900-2000 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ stroke 1 ]

1 . to move your hand gently over something:

He reached out and stroked her cheek tenderly.

2 . [always + adverb/preposition] to move something somewhere with gentle movements of your hand:

He lifted her face and stroked her hair from her eyes.

3 . [always + adverb/preposition] to hit or kick a ball with a smooth movement in games such as tennis, golf, and ↑ cricket :

He stroked the ball into an empty net, with a minute to go.

4 . stroke sb’s ego to say nice things to someone to make them feel good, especially because you want something from them

• • •


■ touch somebody gently or lovingly

▪ stroke to move your hand gently over something, especially in a loving way:

She stroked the child’s hair.


Our cat won’t let people stroke him.

▪ pat to touch an animal or child lightly several times, with your hand flat:

He knelt down to pat the dog.


She patted the little boy’s head.

▪ pet to touch and move your hand gently over someone, especially an animal or child:

The goats, pigs, sheep, and cows here allow you to pet them.

▪ caress /kəˈres/ to gently touch a part of someone’s body in a loving way:

a mother caressing her child


She caressed his cheek.

▪ fondle to touch a part of someone’s body in a loving or sexual way – use this especially about touching someone in a sexual way that is not wanted:

He tried to fondle her and she immediately pulled away from him.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.