General English

  • noun a serious medical condition in which someone suddenly becomes unconscious because blood has stopped flowing normally to the brain
  • noun the act of hitting something such as a ball
  • verb to run your hands gently over something or someone


  • noun any of a series of movements of a piston from one end of the limit of its movement to another

Cars & Driving

  • noun any of a series of continuous, often reciprocating, movements; a cycle
  • noun in a reciprocating engine, the distance between the highest and lowest points reached by the piston
  • verb to modify the stroke of an engine, by using a different crankshaft to increase or reduce displacement; stroking normally refers to an increase in cc


  • noun the width in pixels of a pen or brush used to draw on-screen
  • noun the thickness of a printed character


  • A run of clapboard on the side of a house.
  • A row of steel plates in a steel chimney.


  • noun an act of hitting the ball, especially when the emphasis is on the way the ball is played rather than on the outcome; by contrast with shot, which makes no comment on the orthodoxy (or otherwise) of the way the ball is hit, the word ‘stroke’ suggests a gracefully executed, well-timed hit in which maximum effect is achieved by minimum force
    Citation ‘Wazir, like Nayadu, was a powerful right-hand bat who could play some very elegant strokes, including a charming cover-drive’ (Bose 1990)
    Citation ‘What was unusual, even unique, about Viswanath was the ridiculous ease with which he used to execute the late cut, intoxicatingly beautiful and the most difficult of all strokes’ (Haresh Pandya, Illustrated Weekly of India 20 April 1991)
  • noun a run; a notch marked on the scorer’s stick to indicate that a run has been scored
    Citation ‘On Tues., May 22, on Blackheath, London beat Greenwich by 15 strokes; London went in first and got 112 strokes the first hands’ (Whitehall Evening Post 26 May 1733)
  • verb to score runs by playing the ball with good timing and footwork, and with a graceful swing of the bat
    Citation ‘When the New Zealanders took the new ball on Thursday, Randall stroked four extraordinary boundaries in the first two overs’ (Robin Marlar, Sunday Times 28 August 1983)
    Citation ‘Left-hander Sanath Jayasuriya, maker of two double-centuries against Pakistan “A”, stroked an impressive 70-ball 66’ (David Frith, WCM October 1991)


  • noun a sudden blockage or breaking of a blood vessel in the brain that can result in loss of consciousness, partial loss of movement or loss of speech

Media Studies

  • noun a short diagonal line (/) used to separate groups of numbers or in written text to mean ‘and’ or ‘or’


  • verb to touch something or someone softly with the fingers


  • noun a basic curved or straight line that makes up a character


  • noun a style of swimming, using the arms and legs in a specific way
  • noun a single complete movement of the arms and legs when swimming
  • noun a single movement of the oars through the water
  • noun a rower in a racing boat who sets the pace for the crew
  • verb to hit or kick a ball smoothly
  • verb to row at a particular speed or rate of the oars

Origin & History of “stroke”

The verb stroke (OE) and the noun stroke (13th c.) are different words, but they come ultimately from the same source – the prehistoric Germanic base *strīk-, *straik- ‘touch lightly’ (from which English also gets streak and strike). The verb has stayed very close semantically to its source, whereas the noun has followed the same path as its corresponding verb strike.