1 [strohk]
the act or an instance of striking, as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer; a blow.
a hitting of or upon anything.
a striking of a clapper or hammer, as on a bell.
the sound produced by this.
a throb or pulsation, as of the heart.
Also called apoplexy, cerebrovascular accident. Pathology. 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.
something likened to a blow in its effect, as in causing pain, injury, or death; an attack of apoplexy or paralysis.
a destructive discharge of lightning.
a vigorous movement, as if in dealing a blow.
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.
a single complete movement, especially one continuously repeated in some process.
one of a series of alternating continuous movements of something back and forth over or through the same line.
the complete movement of a moving part, especially a reciprocating part, in one direction.
the distance traversed in such a movement.
a half revolution of an engine during which the piston travels from one extreme of its range to the other.
a type or method of swimming: The crawl is a rapid stroke.
each of the successive movements of the arms and legs in propelling the body through the water.
a single pull of the oar.
the manner or style of moving the oars.
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.
a movement of a pen, pencil, brush, graver, or the like.
a mark traced by or as if by one movement of a pen, pencil, brush, or the like.
a distinctive or effective touch in a literary composition: His style revealed the stroke of a master.
a single or minimal act, piece, or amount of work, activity, etc.: to refuse to do a stroke of work.
an attempt to attain some object: a bold stroke for liberty.
a measure adopted for a particular purpose.
a keystroke: no more than 65 strokes to the line for business letters.
a feat or achievement: a stroke of genius.
a sudden or chance happening, as of luck or fortune.
verb (used with object), stroked, stroking.
to mark with a stroke or strokes, as of a pen; cancel, as by a stroke of a pen.
to row as a stroke oar of (a boat or crew).
to set the stroke for the crew of (a boat).
Sports. to hit (a ball), as with a deliberate, smooth swing of a bat or club.

1250–1300; Middle English strok, strak (noun), probably continuing Old English *strāc (whence strācian to stroke2); cognate with German Streich; akin to strike

1. rap, tap, knock, pat. 1, 7. See blow1. 5. beat, thump; rhythm. Unabridged


2 [strohk]
verb (used with object), stroked, stroking.
to pass the hand or an instrument over (something or somebody) lightly or with little pressure; rub gently, as in soothing or caressing.
Informal. to promote feelings of self-approval in; flatter.
an act or instance of stroking; a stroking movement.

before 900; Middle English stroken (v.), Old English strācian; cognate with German streichen; akin to strike Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stroke (strəʊk)
1.  the act or an instance of striking; a blow, knock, or hit
2.  a sudden action, movement, or occurrence: a stroke of luck
3.  a brilliant or inspired act or feat: a stroke of genius
4.  pathol apoplexy; rupture of a blood vessel in the brain resulting in loss of consciousness, often followed by paralysis, or embolism or thrombosis affecting a cerebral vessel
5.  a.  the striking of a clock
 b.  the hour registered by the striking of a clock: on the stroke of three
6.  a mark, flourish, or line made by a writing implement
7.  another name for solidus, used esp when dictating or reading aloud
8.  a light touch or caress, as with the fingers
9.  a pulsation, esp of the heart
10.  a single complete movement or one of a series of complete movements
11.  sport the act or manner of striking the ball with a racket, club, bat, etc
12.  any one of the repeated movements used by a swimmer to propel himself through the water
13.  a manner of swimming, esp one of several named styles such as the crawl or butterfly
14.  a.  any one of a series of linear movements of a reciprocating part, such as a piston
 b.  the distance travelled by such a part from one end of its movement to the other
15.  a single pull on an oar or oars in rowing
16.  manner or style of rowing
17.  the oarsman who sits nearest the stern of a shell, facing the cox, and sets the rate of striking for the rest of the crew
18.  informal (US) a compliment or comment that enhances a person's self-esteem
19.  slang chiefly (US) (modifier) pornographic; masturbatory: stroke magazines
20.  (usually used with a negative) a stroke, a stroke of work a small amount of work
21.  off one's stroke performing or working less well than usual
22.  on the stroke of punctually at
23.  (tr) to touch, brush, or caress lightly or gently
24.  (tr) to mark a line or a stroke on or through
25.  to act as the stroke of (a racing shell)
26.  (tr) sport to strike (a ball) with a smooth swinging blow
27.  informal (US), (Canadian) (tr) to handle or influence (someone) with care, using persuasion, flattery, etc
[Old English strācian; related to Middle Low German strēken; see strike]

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

"act of striking," c.1300, probably from O.E. *strac, from P.Gmc. *straikaz (cf. M.L.G. strek, Ger. streich, Goth. striks "stroke"), related to the verb stracian (see stroke (v.)). The meaning "mark of a pen" is from 1567; that of "a striking of a clock" is from 1436. Sense
of "feat, achievement" (e.g. stroke of luck, 1853) first found 1672; the meaning "single pull of an oar or single movement of machinery" is from 1731. Meaning "apoplectic seizure" is from 1599 (originally the Stroke of God's Hand). Swimming sense is from 1800.

"pass the hand gently over," O.E. stracian, related to strican "pass over lightly," from P.Gmc. *straikojanan, which is related to the root of strike, from PIE base *streig- (see strigil). Fig. sense of "soothe, flatter" is recorded from 1513.
The noun meaning "a stroking movement of the hand" is recorded from 1631.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

stroke 1 (strōk)

  1. A sudden severe attack, as of paralysis or sunstroke.

  2. 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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
stroke   (strōk)  Pronunciation Key 
A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel of the brain, resulting in necrosis of brain tissue (called a cerebral infarct) and characterized by loss of muscular control, weakening or loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of brain damage. Also called cerebrovascular accident.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

stroke definition

A sudden loss of brain function caused by an interruption in the supply of blood to the brain. A ruptured blood vessel or cerebral thrombosis may cause the stroke, which can occur in varying degrees of severity from temporary paralysis and slurred speech to permanent brain damage and death.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

stroke definition

The oblique stroke character, "/", ASCII 47.
See ASCII for other synonyms.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see at one stroke; no accounting for taste (different strokes for different folks); put one off one's stride (stroke).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Most people who survive a stroke have some type of disability.
Ambulance personnel often don't know how to diagnose or treat heat stroke on
  the spot either.
People in such a state have serious brain damage as a result of an accident or
In the midst of sweltering heat waves, air conditioning can be a lifesaver,
  protecting against heat stroke and hyperthermia.
Images for stroke
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