Definition for STROKE

STROKE, n. [from strike.]

  1. A blow; the striking of one body against another; applicable to a club or to any heavy body, or to a rod, whip or lash. A piece of timber falling may kill a man by its stroke; a man when whipped, can hardly fail to flinch or wince at every stroke. Th' oars were silver, / Which to the time of flutes kept stroke. – Shak.
  2. A hostile blow or attack. He entered and won the whole kingdom of Naples without striking a stroke. – Bacon.
  3. A sudden attack of disease or affliction; calamity. At this one stroke the man look'd dead in law. – Harte.
  4. Fatal attack; as, the stroke of death.
  5. The sound of the clock. What is't o'clock? / Upon the stroke of four. – Shak.
  6. The touch of a pencil. Oh, lasting as those colors may they shine, / Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as the line. – Pope. Some parts of my work have been brightened by the strokes of your lordship's pencil. – Middleton.
  7. A touch; a masterly effort; as, the boldest strokes of poetry. – Dryden. He will give one of the finishing strokes to it. – Addison.
  8. An effort suddenly or unexpectedly produced.
  9. Power; efficacy. He has a great stroke with the reader, when he condemns any of my poems, to make time world have a better opinion of them. – Dryden. [I believe this sense is obsolete.]
  10. Series of operations; as, to carry on a great stroke in business. [A common use of the word.]
  11. A dash in writing or printing; a line; a touch of the pen; no, a hair stroke.
  12. In seamen's language, the sweep of an oar; as, to row with a long stroke.

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