stroke

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down to the short strokes

In the final stages or nearing completion of a long or arduous task, situation, or process. I firmly believe that, on the whole, we are down to the short strokes of this economic downturn. The school board is coming down to the short strokes of its budget plan for this year.
See also: down, short, stroke

at a (single) stroke

All at once, with a single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands of people lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions at a single stroke. As the two leaders ratified the treaty, 10 years of civil war ended at a stroke.
See also: stroke

at one stroke

All at once, with a single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions at one stroke.
See also: one, stroke

be in the short strokes

To be in the last or final stages (of something); to be nearly finished (with) or nearing completion (of something). Said especially of that which has been long, arduous, or tedious. Now that we finally got the server online and the app stable, we're in the short strokes of making it available to users. We'll be in the short strokes once the moving van arrives with the last of our stuff from the old house.
See also: short, stroke

not do a stroke (of work)

To not do any work at all. Now that Jim's retired, he just spends all day on the couch watching television. He won't do a stroke of work around the house! I'm going to have a long night ahead with this term paper, as I haven't done a stroke up till now.
See also: not, stroke

arrive (somewhere) (up)on the stroke of some time

 and arrive (somewhere) at the stroke of some time
to reach a place at a particular instant of time.(Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) She arrived home on the stroke of midnight. We all arrived at the stroke of two.
See also: arrive, of, on, stroke, time

arrive (somewhere) (up)on the stroke of some time

 and arrive (somewhere) at the stroke of some time
to reach a place at a particular instant of time. (Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) She arrived home on the stroke of midnight. We all arrived at the stroke of two.
See also: arrive, of, on, stroke, time

arrive (somewhere) (up)on the stroke of some time

 and arrive (somewhere) at the stroke of some time
to reach a place at a particular instant of time. (Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) She arrived home on the stroke of midnight. We all arrived at the stroke of two.
See also: arrive, of, on, stroke, time

Different strokes for different folks.

Prov. Different people like different things.; Different people live in different ways. My neighbor spends all his free time working in his garden. I would never want to do that, but different strokes for different folks.
See also: different, folk, stroke

finishing touch(es)

a final adjustment of something; some effort or action that completes something. Norm is in his workshop putting the finishing touches on his latest project.
See also: finish, touch

have a stroke

to experience sudden unconsciousness or paralysis due to an interruption in the blood supply to the brain. (Also used as an exaggeration. See the last example.) The patient who received an artificial heart had a stroke two days after the operation. My great-uncle Billwho is very old—had a stroke last May. Calm down, Bob. Don't have a stroke over a silly mistake.
See also: have, stroke

Little strokes fell great oaks.

Prov. You can complete a large, intimidating task by steadily doing small parts of it. Jill: How can I possibly write a fifty-page report in two months? Jane: Just write a little bit every day. Little strokes fell great oaks.
See also: fell, great, little, oak, stroke

stroke of genius

an act of genius; a very clever and innovative idea or task. Your idea of painting the rock wall red was a stroke of genius.
See also: genius, of, stroke

a stroke of luck

Fig. a bit of luck; a lucky happening. I had a stroke of luck and found Tom at home when I called. He's not usually there. Unless I have a stroke of luck, I'm not going to finish this report by tomorrow.
See also: luck, of, stroke

stroke someone's ego

Fig. to flatter and praise someone. If you have trouble with him, just take a few minutes and stroke his ego. You'll soon have him eating out of your hand.
See also: ego, stroke

a stroke of luck

also a stroke of fortune
something good that happens to you when you do not expect it To walk in and get a job like that was an incredible stroke of luck.
See also: luck, of, stroke

in one stroke

also at one stroke
immediately In one stroke, farmers will go from $100,000 in revenues to nothing.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the forms at a (single) stroke or in a stroke: Rejecting the treaty would undo years of effort in a stroke.
See also: one, stroke

different strokes (for different folks)

different things are done or liked by different people The man walks backward for exercise. Different strokes for different folks!
See also: different, stroke

in broad strokes

also with broad strokes
in a general way, without giving details Mostly, he talked in broad strokes about how his faith supports him every day.
Etymology: based on the idea of painting with broad strokes (wide marks made with a wide brush)
See also: broad, stroke

broad (brush) strokes

if you describe a situation with broad strokes, you describe it in a very general way without giving any details The novel's historical background is filled in with broad brush strokes. In a few broad strokes he summed up his beliefs.
See also: broad, stroke

(It's) different strokes for different folks.

  (mainly American)
something that you say which means that different people like or need different things I've never enjoyed winter sports, but different strokes for different folks.
See a whole new ball game, be chalk and cheese, march to a different drummer, be another different kettle of fish
See also: different, folk, stroke

put somebody off their stride

  (British, American & Australian) also put somebody off their stroke (British & Australian)
to take someone's attention away from what they are doing so they are not able to do it well She was making funny faces at me, trying to put me off my stroke. When I'm playing chess, the slightest noise can put me off my stride.
See also: off, put, stride

a stroke of luck

something good that happens to you by chance Phil was driving up to Manchester that evening and gave me a lift so that was a stroke of luck. By a stroke of luck, someone at work happened to be selling very cheaply exactly the piece of equipment that I needed.
See put off stride
See also: luck, of, stroke

at one stroke

Also, at one blow; at a stroke or blow ; in one stroke or blow . At the same time, with one forceful or quick action. For example, I managed to please both buyer and seller at one stroke. The first term is the older version, so used by Chaucer; at one blow was used by Shakespeare.
See also: one, stroke

different strokes for different folks

See also: different, folk, stroke

finishing touch

A small change or addition that serves to complete something. For example, The room still needed a few finishing touches, such as a flower arrangement. This expression is sometimes put as a finishing stroke. [c. 1700]
See also: finish, touch

no accounting for tastes, there's

Individual likes and dislikes defy explanation, as in They painted their house purple-there's really no accounting for tastes. This expression, first put as no disputing about tastes, dates from the mid-1600s; the present wording was first recorded in 1794. A mid-20th-century synonym that originated in the American South is different strokes for different folks. For a far older synonym, see one man's meat.
See also: accounting

put one off one's stride

Also, put one off one's stroke. Interfere with one's progress, distract or disturb one, as in The interruption put her off her stride for a moment, and she took several seconds to resume her train of thought , or The noise of the airplanes overhead put her off her stroke, and she missed the next ball . The first term, first recorded in 1946, alludes to the regular pace of a walker or runner; the variant, first recorded in 1914, alludes to the regular strokes of a rower. Also see throw off the track.
See also: off, one, put, stride

different strokes for different folks

phr. different things please different people. Do whatever you like. Different strokes for different folks.
See also: different, folk, stroke

stroke

tv. & in. to flatter someone; to soothe and comfort someone. She “strokes” everybody to keep them on her side during the bad times.
References in classic literature ?
I felt this big sorrowing man's head resting on me, as though it were that of a baby that some day may lie on my bosom, and I stroked his hair as though he were my own child.
To their surprise and joy, however, these wild beasts merely capered around them, wagging their tails, offering their heads to be stroked and patted, and behaving just like so many well-bred house dogs, when they wish to express their delight at meeting their master, or their master's friends.
Jacob, you understand, was not an intense idiot, but within a certain limited range knew how to choose the good and reject the evil: he took one lozenge, by way of test, and sucked it as if he had been a philosopher; then, in as great an ecstacy at its new and complex savour as Caliban at the taste of Trinculo's wine, chuckled and stroked this suddenly beneficent brother, and held out his hand for more; for, except in fits of anger, Jacob was not ferocious or needlessly predatory.
Dinah had never said anything disapproving or reproachful to Hetty during her whole visit to the Hall Farm; she had talked to her a great deal in a serious way, but Hetty didn't mind that much, for she never listened: whatever Dinah might say, she almost always stroked Hetty's cheek after it, and wanted to do some mending for her.
No thought of fear seemed to occur to the children, who patted and stroked it as if it had been a Shetland-pony.
Unc looked out of the window and stroked his long beard.