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a. A swimming stroke performed on one's back, especially one using alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick.
b. A race or a leg of a race in which this stroke is swum.
2. A backhanded stroke or motion.
3. A stroke or motion in the direction of an original starting point: a saw that cuts on the backstroke.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.