Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

counter

play
noun count·er \ˈkau̇n-tər\

Definition of counter

  1. 1 :  a piece (as of metal or plastic) used in reckoning or in games

  2. 2 :  something of value in bargaining :  asset

  3. 3 :  a level surface (as a table, shelf or display case) over which transactions are conducted or food is served or on which goods are displayed or work is conducted <jewelry counter> <a lunch counter>

over the counter

  1. 1 :  in or through a broker's office rather than through a stock exchange <stock bought over the counter>

  2. 2 :  without a prescription <drugs available over the counter>

under the counter

  1. :  by surreptitious means :  in an illicit and private manner <workers being paid under the counter>



Origin and Etymology of counter

Middle English countour, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin computatorium computing place, from Latin computare


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Furniture and Woodworking Terms


2

counter

play
noun count·er \ˈkau̇n-tər\

Definition of counter

  1. :  one that counts; especially :  a device for indicating a number or amount



Origin and Etymology of counter

Middle English, from Anglo-French cuntur, from cunter to count


First Known Use: 14th century


3

counter

verb coun·ter

Simple Definition of counter

  • : to do something in defense or in response to something

  • : to make (something) less effective or ineffective

  • : to say (something) in response to something that another person has said

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of counter

countered

countering

play \ˈkau̇n-t(ə-)riŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to act in opposition to :  oppose b :  offset, nullify <tried to counter the trend toward depersonalization>

  3. 2 :  to assert in answer <we countered that our warnings had been ignored>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to meet attacks or arguments with defensive or retaliatory steps

Examples of counter in a sentence

  1. When they blamed him for the collapse of the bridge, he countered that his warnings about the bridge had been ignored.

  2. I could say the same thing about you, she countered.

  3. After she made her point, he could not counter with anything.



Origin and Etymology of counter

Middle English countren, from Anglo-French cuntre against, opposite, from Latin contra; akin to Latin com- with, together — more at co-


First Known Use: 14th century


4

counter

adverb coun·ter

Simple Definition of counter

  • : in a way that goes against or does not agree with something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of counter

  1. 1 :  in an opposite or wrong direction

  2. 2 :  to or toward a different or opposite direction, result, or effect <values that run counter to those of society>

Origin and Etymology of counter

Middle English contre, from Anglo-French cuntre


First Known Use: 15th century


5

counter

noun coun·ter

Definition of counter

  1. 1 :  contrary, opposite

  2. 2 :  the after portion of a boat from the waterline to the extreme outward swell or stern overhang

  3. 3 a :  the act of making an attack while parrying one (as in boxing); also :  a blow thus given in boxing b :  an agency or force that offsets :  check

  4. 4 :  a stiffener to give permanent form to a boot or shoe upper around the heel

  5. 5 :  an area within the face of a letter wholly or partly enclosed by strokes

  6. 6 :  a football play in which the ballcarrier goes in a direction opposite to the movement of the play



15th Century

First Known Use of counter

15th century


6

counter

adjective coun·ter

Definition of counter

  1. 1 :  marked by or tending toward or in an opposite direction or effect

  2. 2 :  given to or marked by opposition, hostility, or antipathy

  3. 3 :  situated or lying opposite <the counter side>

  4. 4 :  recalling or ordering back by a superseding contrary order :  countermanding <counter orders from the colonel>



Examples of counter in a sentence

  1. <was unprepared for such a strong counter campaign by opponents of the legislative bill>



1582

First Known Use of counter

1582


counter-

prefix count·er

Simple Definition of counter-

  • : in a direction opposite to

  • : as a reaction against

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of counter-

  1. 1 a :  contrary :  opposite <counterclockwise> <countermarch> b :  opposing :  retaliatory <counterforce> <counteroffensive>

  2. 2 :  complementary :  corresponding <counterweight> <counterpart>

  3. 3 :  duplicate :  substitute <counterfoil>

  1. counteraccusation

  2. counteradaptation

  3. counteradvertising

  4. counteragent

  5. counteraggression

  6. counterargue

  7. counterargument

  8. counterassault

  9. counterattack

  10. counterattacker

  11. counterbid

  12. counterblast

  13. counterblockade

  14. counterblow

  15. countercampaign

  16. countercharge

  17. countercommercial

  18. countercomplaint

  19. counterconspiracy

  20. counterconvention

  21. countercountermeasure

  22. countercoup

  23. countercriticism

  24. countercry

  25. counterdemand

  26. counterdemonstrate

  27. counterdemonstration

  28. counterdemonstrator

  29. counterdeployment

  30. countereducational

  31. countereffort

  32. counterevidence

  33. counterfire

  34. counterforce

  35. countergovernment

  36. counterhypothesis

  37. counterimage

  38. counterincentive

  39. counterinflation

  40. counterinflationary

  41. counterinfluence

  42. counterinstance

  43. counterinstitution

  44. counterinterpretation

  45. counterinvasion

  46. countermemo

  47. countermobilization

  48. countermove

  49. countermovement

  50. countermyth

  51. counterorder

  52. counterpetition

  53. counterpicket

  54. counterplay

  55. counterploy

  56. counterpower

  57. counterpressure

  58. counterproject

  59. counterpropaganda

  60. counterprotest

  61. counterprotester

  62. counterquestion

  63. counterraid

  64. counterrally

  65. counterreaction

  66. counterreform

  67. counterreformer

  68. counterresponse

  69. counterretaliation

  70. countershot

  71. countersniper

  72. counterspell

  73. counterstate

  74. counterstatement

  75. counterstep

  76. counterstrategist

  77. counterstrategy

  78. counterstream

  79. counterstrike

  80. counterstroke

  81. counterstyle

  82. countersue

  83. countersuggestion

  84. countersuit

  85. countersurveillance

  86. countertactics

  87. countertendency

  88. counterterror

  89. counterterrorism

  90. counterterrorist

  91. counterthreat

  92. counterthrust

  93. countertradition

  94. countertrend

  95. counterviolence

  96. counterworld

Origin and Etymology of counter-

Middle English contre-, from Anglo-French, from cuntre



COUNTER Defined for Kids

1

counter

play
noun count·er \ˈkau̇n-tər\

Definition of counter for Students

  1. 1 :  a level surface usually higher than a table that is used especially for selling, serving food, displaying things, or working on

  2. 2 :  a piece used in games or to find a total in adding




2

counter

play
noun count·er

Definition of counter for Students

  1. 1 :  a person whose job is to determine a total

  2. 2 :  a device for showing a number or amount




3

counter

verb coun·ter \ˈkau̇n-tər\

Definition of counter for Students

countered

countering

  1. 1 :  to say in response to something said <“I could say the same about you,” he countered.>

  2. 2 :  to act in opposition to :  oppose <She countered with a move that ended the game.>




4

counter

play
adverb coun·ter

Definition of counter for Students

  1. :  in another or opposite direction <He will always go counter to advice.>




5

counter

play
noun coun·ter

Definition of counter for Students

  1. :  an answering or opposing force or blow




counter-

prefix count·er

Definition of counter- for Students

  1. 1 :  opposite <counterclockwise>

  2. 2 :  opposing

  3. 3 :  like :  matching <counterpart>

  4. 4 :  duplicate :  substitute




Medical Dictionary

1

counter

play
noun count·er \ˈkau̇nt-ər\

Medical Definition of counter

  1. :  a level surface over which transactions are conducted or food is served or on which goods are displayed or work is conducted <a lunch counter>

over the counter




2

counter

noun count·er

Medical Definition of counter

  1. :  one that counts; especially :  a device for indicating a number or amount—see geiger counter




Law Dictionary

counter-

prefix coun·ter- \ˈkau̇n-tər\

Legal Definition of counter-

  1. 1a :  contrary :  opposite <counterletter> b :  opposing :  retaliatory <counteraction>

  2. 2 :  complementary :  corresponding <countersign>

  3. 3 :  duplicate :  substitute <counterpart>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up counter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

different from the usual or normal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate acommadate acommodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ