stroke - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    a medical condition in which blood is suddenly blocked and cannot reach the brain, or in which a blood vessel in the brain breaks, often causing a loss of the ability to speak or to move particular muscles
    have/suffer a stroke:

    Leni suffered a stroke last year, and is unable to walk.

  2. 2
    an unexpected but important event or action
    a stroke of luck/good fortune:

    Winning the lottery was quite a stroke of luck.

    a stroke of genius/inspiration/brilliance:

    Using green as a background was a real stroke of genius (=an idea that shows great intelligence).

    a bold/master stroke:

    These plans are seen as a bold stroke by the local council.

  3. 3
    a hit made with someone’s hand, a stick, or another object

    With each stroke of the whip, the horse galloped faster.

    1. a.
      an instance of hitting the ball in some sports, or the way in which someone hits it

      He slammed the ball over the net with a powerful backhand stroke.

  4. 4
    a style of swimming, or one complete movement of the arms and legs in swimming

    With powerful strokes she pulled ahead of the others.

    1. a.
      a style of rowing, or one complete movement of the oars through the water
       Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      a single complete movement of a bird’s wings during flight
       Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    one of the series of sounds that some clocks make to mark the hour, or the time marked by this

    At the stroke of nine (=at exactly nine o’clock) the band began to play.

  6. 7
    a gentle movement of your hand across skin, hair, or fur

    She gave the dog’s head a stroke.

  7. 8
    an instance of lightning hitting something

    The tree was split by a stroke of lightning.