Learner's definition of BACKHANDED
[more backhanded; most backhanded]
1 : not direct or sincere
We were disappointed by his backhanded apology.
She paid me a backhanded compliment [=a compliment that was not really a compliment at all] when she said my work was “surprisingly good.”
He paid me a backhanded compliment [=an indirect compliment] by imitating my style.
2 sports : using or done with a backhand