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noun coun·ter·point \ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌpȯint\

Simple Definition of counterpoint

  • music : a combination of two or more melodies that are played together

  • : a melody played in combination with another

  • : something that is different from something else in usually a pleasing way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of counterpoint

  1. 1 a :  one or more independent melodies added above or below a given melody b :  the combination of two or more independent melodies into a single harmonic texture in which each retains its linear character :  polyphony

  2. 2 a :  a complementing or contrasting item :  opposite b :  use of contrast or interplay of elements in a work of art (as a drama)

Examples of counterpoint in a sentence

  1. The guitar and bass are played in counterpoint.

  2. The dressing is a refreshing counterpoint to the spicy chicken.

  3. The painting is a pleasant counterpoint to his earlier works.

  4. The music works in counterpoint to the images on the screen.

Origin and Etymology of counterpoint

Middle English, from Middle French contrepoint, from Medieval Latin contrapunctus, from Latin contra- counter- + Medieval Latin punctus musical note, melody, from Latin, act of pricking, from pungere to prick — more at pungent

First Known Use: 15th century



verb coun·ter·point

Simple Definition of counterpoint

  • : to put two things together in a way that shows how different they are from each other

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of counterpoint

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to compose or arrange in counterpoint

  3. 2 :  to set off or emphasize by juxtaposition :  set in contrast <counterpoints the public and the private man — Tom Bishop>

Examples of counterpoint in a sentence

  1. The violence of the movie is counterpointed by ironic humor.


First Known Use of counterpoint


Rhymes with counterpoint

at gunpoint, at knifepoint, basis point, boiling point, breaking point, brownie point, cardinal point, Curie point, disappoint, extra point, floating-point, focal point, freezing point, growing point, ideal point, knuckle joint, melting point, miter joint, needlepoint, out of joint, pedal point, petit point, point-to-point, pressure point, rabbet joint, selling point, silverpoint, sticking point, strain a point, stretch a point, talking point, to the point, trigger point, triple point, turning point, vantage point, vowel point

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