Stroke - (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
STROKE, STROOK, for struck.
STROKE, n. [from strike.]
1. A blow; the striking of one body against another; applicable to a club or to any heavy body, or to a rod, whip or lash. A piece of timber falling may kill a man by its stroke; a man when whipped, can hardly fail to flinch or wince at every stroke.
Th oars were silver, which to the time of flutes kept stroke--
2. A hostile blow or attack.
He entered and won the whole kingdom of Naples without striking a stroke.
3. A sudden attack of disease or affliction; calamity.
At this one stroke the man lookd dead in law.
4. Fatal attack; as the stroke of death.
5. The sound of the clock.
What is t oclock? Upon the stroke of four.
6. The touch of a pencil.
Oh, lasting as those colors may they shine, free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line.
Some parts of my work have been brightened by the strokes of your lordshipss pencil.
7. A touch; a masterly effort; as the boldest strokes of poetry.
He will give one of the finishing strokes to it.
8. An effort suddenly or unexpectedly produced.
9. Power; efficacy.
He has a great stroke with the reader, when he condemns any of my poems, to make the world have a better opinion of them.
[I believe this sense is obsolete.]
10. A dash in writing or printing; a line; a touch of the pen; as a hair stroke.
STROKE, v.t. [See Strike and Strict.]
1. To rub gently with the hand by way of expressing kindness or tenderness; to soothe.
He dried the falling drops, and yet more kind, he strokd her cheeks--
2. To rub gently in one direction.
3. To make smooth.