backhanded

[[t]bæ̱khæ̱ndɪd, AM -hændɪd[/t]]
1) ADJ: ADJ n A backhanded compliment is a remark which seems to be an insult but could also be understood as a compliment. A backhanded compliment is also a remark which seems to be a compliment but could also be understood as an insult.

`Even my good reviews have tended to be back-handed compliments,' he says. `They'll say I was good and ‘almost unbearably grotesque’.'...

For once, the phrase `The film is beautifully shot' is not intended as a back-handed compliment.

2) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n (disapproval) If you say that someone is doing something in a backhanded way, they are doing it indirectly.

In a backhanded way, Milton Friedman raises yet another objection to high excise taxes.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Backhanded — Back hand ed, a. 1. With the hand turned backward; as, a backhanded blow. [1913 Webster] 2. Indirect; awkward; insincere; sarcastic; as, a backhanded compliment. [1913 Webster] 3. Turned back, or inclining to the left; as, backhanded letters.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backhanded — [bak′han΄did] adj. 1. BACKHAND 2. expressing or expressed in an indirect or sarcastic way; not sincere; equivocal [a backhanded compliment] 3. Sports performed by backhanding the ball [a backhanded catch] adv. with a backhand …   English World dictionary

  • backhanded — ack hand ed, a. & adv. (Sport) Stroked with a backhand[2]; as, a backhanded drive. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backhanded — ► ADJECTIVE 1) made with the back of the hand facing in the direction of movement. 2) indirect or ambiguous: a backhanded compliment …   English terms dictionary

  • backhanded — index indirect, oblique (evasive) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • backhanded — [adj] underhanded ambiguous, double edged, equivocal, sarcastic, sardonic, two edged; concepts 401,544 …   New thesaurus

  • backhanded — backhandedly, adv. backhandedness, n. /bak han did/, adj. 1. performed with the hand turned backward, crosswise, or in any oblique direction so that the palm of the hand faces in the direction of the body and the back of the hand faces in the… …   Universalium

  • backhanded — back•hand•ed [[t]ˈbækˌhæn dɪd[/t]] adj. 1) performed with the back of the hand turned or facing forward: a backhanded stroke[/ex] 2) sloping in a downward direction from left to right: backhanded writing[/ex] 3) oblique or ambiguous in meaning: a …   From formal English to slang

  • backhanded — adjective 1 a backhanded remark or compliment 1 (1) seems to express praise or admiration but in fact means the opposite: Brave can be a backhanded way of saying crazy . 2 a backhanded shot etc is made with a backhand …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • backhanded — adjective a) With the hand turned backward. a backhanded blow b) Indirect; awkward; insincere; sarcastic. a backhanded compliment …   Wiktionary

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