The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Stroke \Stroke\, n. [OE. strok, strook, strak, fr. striken. See
Strike, v. t.]
1. The act of striking; a blow; a hit; a knock; esp., a
violent or hostile attack made with the arm or hand, or
with an instrument or weapon.
His hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down
the tree. --Deut. xix.
A fool's lips enter into contention and his mouth
calleth for strokes. --Prov. xviii.
He entered and won the whole kingdom of Naples
without striking a stroke. --Bacon.
2. The result of effect of a striking; injury or affliction;
In the day that Lord bindeth up the breach of his
people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
3. The striking of the clock to tell the hour.
Well, but what's o'clock?
- Upon the stroke of ten. -- Well, let is strike.
4. A gentle, caressing touch or movement upon something; a
5. A mark or dash in writing or printing; a line; the touch
of a pen or pencil; as, an up stroke; a firm stroke.
O, lasting as those colors may they shine,
Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line.
6. Hence, by extension, an addition or amandment to a written
composition; a touch; as, to give some finishing strokes
to an essay. --Addison.
7. A sudden attack of disease; especially, a fatal attack; a
severe disaster; any affliction or calamity, especially a
sudden one; as, a stroke of apoplexy; the stroke of death.
At this one stroke the man looked dead in law.
8. A throb or beat, as of the heart. --Tennyson.
9. One of a series of beats or movements against a resisting
medium, by means of which movement through or upon it is
accomplished; as, the stroke of a bird's wing in flying,
or an oar in rowing, of a skater, swimmer, etc.; also:
(a) The rate of succession of stroke; as, a quick stroke.
(b) The oar nearest the stern of a boat, by which the
other oars are guided; -- called also stroke oar.
(c) The rower who pulls the stroke oar; the strokesman.
10. A powerful or sudden effort by which something is done,
produced, or accomplished; also, something done or
accomplished by such an effort; as, a stroke of genius; a
stroke of business; a master stroke of policy.
11. (Mach.) The movement, in either direction, of the piston
plunger, piston rod, crosshead, etc., as of a steam
engine or a pump, in which these parts have a
reciprocating motion; as, the forward stroke of a piston;
also, the entire distance passed through, as by a piston,
in such a movement; as, the piston is at half stroke.
Note: The respective strokes are distinguished as up and down
strokes, outward and inward strokes, forward and back
strokes, the forward stroke in stationary steam engines
being toward the crosshead, but in locomotives toward
the front of the vehicle.
12. Power; influence. [Obs.] "Where money beareth [hath] all
the stroke." --Robynson (More's Utopia).
He has a great stroke with the reader. --Dryden.
13. Appetite. [Obs.] --Swift.
To keep stroke, to make strokes in unison.
The oars where silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke. --Shak.