Definition of backhanded in English:


Line breaks: back|hand¦ed
Pronunciation: /bakˈhandɪd


1Made with the back of the hand facing in the direction of movement: a backhanded pass
More example sentences
  • Less than four minutes in, he delivered a beautiful backhanded pass that resulted in a three-point play.
  • He also isn't playing good defense, failing to make the backhanded stops he has made most of the season.
  • The center fielder jumped against the wall attempting a backhanded catch.
2Having a meaning that is expressed indirectly or ambiguously: coming from me, teasing is a backhanded compliment
More example sentences
  • It sold 55,000, and people started calling him the best rapper in Britain - a bit of a backhanded compliment, taking into account the whole suitcase-and-waterpistol state of British rap.
  • The poem is a riposte to Lord Beauchamp's backhanded compliment to Australians, ‘Your birthstain you have turned to good.’
  • One time we played with a traditional puppet master from Japan, and he told us that we ‘seemed to really enjoy what we do’, which I guess is kind of a backhanded compliment.
indirect, ambiguous, oblique, equivocal;
tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, ironic, sardonic


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With the back of the hand or with the hand turned backwards: Ellwood hit him backhanded
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, he doesn't have much range to his right, and he's horrible at fielding the ball backhanded.
  • His stabbing was also done backhanded.

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