Backhandedness

backhanded

[bak-han-did]
adjective
1.
performed with the hand turned backward, crosswise, or in any oblique direction so that the palm of the hand faces in the direction of the body and the back of the hand faces in the direction of forward movement.
2.
sloping in a downward direction from left to right: backhanded writing.
3.
oblique or ambiguous in meaning; indirect; insincere or malicious; wry: backhanded methods; a backhanded compliment.
4.
Ropemaking. noting a rope in which the yarns and the strands are laid in the same direction, the rope itself being laid in the opposite direction.
adverb
5.
with the hand across the body; backhand: He caught the ball backhanded.

Origin:
1790–1800; back2 + handed

backhandedly, adverb
backhandedness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To backhandedness
Collins
World English Dictionary
backhanded (ˌbækˈhændɪd)
 
adj
1.  (of a blow, shot, stroke, etc) performed with the arm moving across the body
2.  double-edged; equivocal: a backhanded compliment
3.  (of handwriting) slanting to the left
4.  (of a rope) twisted in the opposite way to the normal right-handed direction
 
adv
5.  in a backhanded manner
 
back'handedly
 
adv
 
back'handedness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

backhand
as a tennis stroke, 1650s, from back (adj.) + hand. The fig. sense of "indirect" is from c.1800.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature