Etymology
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backhanded (adj.)

1765, "done with the hand turned backward," from backhand (q.v.). Figurative sense "oblique in meaning, indirect; ambivalent, sarcastic," is from 1777. Related: Backhandedly; backhandedness.

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Definitions of backhanded

backhanded (adj.)
(of racket strokes) made across the body with back of hand facing direction of stroke;
Synonyms: backhand
backhanded (adj.)
roundabout or ambiguous;
a backhanded and dishonest way of reaching his goal
attacks from that source amounted to a backhanded compliment to his integrity
From wordnet.princeton.edu