(in rowing). A long, deep, high-feathered stroke, excellent in very heavy water. The Cambridge stroke is a clear, fine, deep sweep, with a very low feather, excellent in smooth water. The Cambridge pull is the best for smooth water and a short reach, but the Oxford for a “lumpy” river and a four-mile course.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894