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stroke 1 (strōk)
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n.
1. The act or an instance of striking, as with the hand, a weapon, or a tool; a blow or impact.
2.
a. The striking of a bell or gong.
b. The sound so produced.
c. The time so indicated: at the stroke of midnight.
3. A sudden action or process having a strong impact or effect: a stroke of lightning.
4. A sudden occurrence or result: a stroke of luck; a stroke of misfortune.
5. A sudden severe attack, as of paralysis or sunstroke.
6. A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel to the brain, characterized by loss of muscular control, diminution or loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of the damage to the brain. Also called cerebral accident, cerebrovascular accident.
7. An inspired or effective idea or act: a stroke of genius.
8.
a. A single uninterrupted movement, especially when repeated or in a back-and-forth motion: the stroke of a pendulum.
b. A keystroke.
c. Any of a series of movements of a piston from one end of the limit of its motion to another.
9.
a. A single completed movement of the limbs and body, as in swimming or rowing.
b. The manner or rate of executing such a movement: My favorite stroke is butterfly. She had a very rapid stroke.
10. Nautical
a. The rower who sits nearest the coxswain or the stern and sets the tempo for the other rowers.
b. The position occupied by this person.
11. Sports
a. A movement of the upper torso and arms for the purpose of striking a ball, as in golf or tennis.
b. The manner of executing such a movement.
c. A scoring unit in golf counted for such a movement: finished six strokes under par.
12.
a. A single mark made by a writing or marking implement, such as a pen.
b. The act of making such a mark.
c. A printed line in a graphic character that resembles such a mark.
13. A distinctive effect or deft touch, as in literary composition.
v. stroked, strok·ing, strokes
v.tr.
1.
a. To mark with a single short line.
b. To draw a line through; cancel: stroked out the last sentence.
2. Nautical To set the pace for (a rowing crew).
3. To hit or propel (a ball, for example) with a smoothly regulated swing.
v.intr.
1. To make or perform a stroke.
2. Nautical To row at a particular rate per minute.

[Middle English, probably from Old English *strāc; see streig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
stroke 2 (strōk)
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tr.v. stroked, strok·ing, strokes
1. To rub lightly with or as if with the hand or something held in the hand; caress. See Synonyms at caress.
2. Informal To behave attentively or flatteringly toward (someone), especially in order to restore confidence or gain cooperation.
n.
A light caressing movement, as of the hand.

[Middle English stroken, from Old English strācian, from *strāc, stroke; see STROKE1.]

stroker n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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