—n. 1. the act or an instance of striking, as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer; a blow.
2. a hitting of or upon anything.
3. a striking of a clapper or hammer, as on a bell.
4. the sound produced by this.
5. a throb or pulsation, as of the heart.
6. Also called apoplexy, cerebrovascular accident.Pathol.a blockage or hemorrhage of a blood vessel leading to the brain, causing inadequate oxygen supply and, depending on the extent and location of the abnormality, such symptoms as weakness, paralysis of parts of the body, speech difficulties, and, if severe, loss of consciousness or death.
7. something likened to a blow in its effect, as in causing pain, injury, or death; an attack of apoplexy or paralysis.
8. a destructive discharge of lightning.
9. a vigorous movement, as if in dealing a blow.
10. Sports.a hitting of a ball, as by the swing of a racquet in tennis or the controlled jabbing or thrusting with the cue in pool and billiards.
11. a single complete movement, esp. one continuously repeated in some process.
12. Mach. a. one of a series of alternating continuous movements of something back and forth over or through the same line.
b. the complete movement of a moving part, esp. a reciprocating part, in one direction.
c. the distance traversed in such a movement.
d. a half revolution of an engine during which the piston travels from one extreme of its range to the other.
13. Swimming. a. a type or method of swimming: The crawl is a rapid stroke. b. each of the successive movements of the arms and legs in propelling the body through the water.
14. Rowing. a. a single pull of the oar.
b. the manner or style of moving the oars.
c. Also called stroke oar. the crew member nearest to the stern of the boat, to whose strokes those of the other crew members must conform.
15. a movement of a pen, pencil, brush, graver, or the like.
16. a mark traced by or as if by one movement of a pen, pencil, brush, or the like.
17. a distinctive or effective touch in a literary composition: His style revealed the stroke of a master. 18. a single or minimal act, piece, or amount of work, activity, etc.: to refuse to do a stroke of work. 19. an attempt to attain some object: a bold stroke for liberty. 20. a measure adopted for a particular purpose.
21. a keystroke: no more than 65 strokes to the line for business letters. 22. a feat or achievement: a stroke of genius. 23. a sudden or chance happening, as of luck or fortune.
—v.t. 1. to mark with a stroke or strokes, as of a pen; cancel, as by a stroke of a pen.
2. Rowing. a. to row as a stroke oar of (a boat or crew).
b. to set the stroke for the crew of (a boat).
3. Sports.to hit (a ball), as with a deliberate, smooth swing of a bat or club.
—v.t. 1. to pass the hand or an instrument over (something or somebody) lightly or with little pressure; rub gently, as in soothing or caressing.
2. Informal.to promote feelings of self-approval in; flatter.
—n. an act or instance of stroking; a stroking movement.