Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • 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 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

Rhymes with counter


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 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

Full Definition of counter

coun·teredcoun·ter·ing 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

  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 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

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 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>




counter-

prefix count·er

Simple Definition of counter-

  • : in a direction opposite to

  • : as a reaction against

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. coun·ter·ac·cu·sa·tion

  2. coun·ter·ad·ap·ta·tion

  3. coun·ter·ad·ver·tis·ing

  4. coun·ter·agent

  5. coun·ter·ag·gres·sion

  6. coun·ter·ar·gue

  7. coun·ter·ar·gu·ment

  8. coun·ter·as·sault

  9. coun·ter·at·tack

  10. coun·ter·at·tack·er

  11. coun·ter·bid

  12. coun·ter·blast

  13. coun·ter·block·ade

  14. coun·ter·blow

  15. coun·ter·cam·paign

  16. coun·ter·charge

  17. coun·ter·com·mer·cial

  18. coun·ter·com·plaint

  19. coun·ter·con·spir·a·cy

  20. coun·ter·con·ven·tion

  21. coun·ter·coun·ter·mea·sure

  22. coun·ter·coup

  23. coun·ter·crit·i·cism

  24. coun·ter·cry

  25. coun·ter·de·mand

  26. coun·ter·dem·on·strate

  27. coun·ter·dem·on·stra·tion

  28. coun·ter·dem·on·stra·tor

  29. coun·ter·de·ploy·ment

  30. coun·ter·ed·u·ca·tion·al

  31. coun·ter·ef·fort

  32. coun·ter·ev·i·dence

  33. coun·ter·fire

  34. coun·ter·force

  35. coun·ter·gov·ern·ment

  36. coun·ter·hy·poth·e·sis

  37. coun·ter·im·age

  38. coun·ter·in·cen·tive

  39. coun·ter·in·fla·tion

  40. coun·ter·in·fla·tion·ary

  41. coun·ter·in·flu·ence

  42. coun·ter·in·stance

  43. coun·ter·in·sti·tu·tion

  44. coun·ter·in·ter·pre·ta·tion

  45. coun·ter·in·va·sion

  46. coun·ter·memo

  47. coun·ter·mo·bi·li·za·tion

  48. coun·ter·move

  49. coun·ter·move·ment

  50. coun·ter·myth

  51. coun·ter·or·der

  52. coun·ter·pe·ti·tion

  53. coun·ter·pick·et

  54. coun·ter·play

  55. coun·ter·ploy

  56. coun·ter·pow·er

  57. coun·ter·pres·sure

  58. coun·ter·pro·ject

  59. coun·ter·pro·pa·gan·da

  60. coun·ter·pro·test

  61. coun·ter·pro·test·er

  62. coun·ter·ques·tion

  63. coun·ter·raid

  64. coun·ter·ral·ly

  65. coun·ter·re·ac·tion

  66. coun·ter·re·form

  67. coun·ter·re·form·er

  68. coun·ter·re·sponse

  69. coun·ter·re·tal·i·a·tion

  70. coun·ter·shot

  71. coun·ter·snip·er

  72. coun·ter·spell

  73. coun·ter·state

  74. coun·ter·state·ment

  75. coun·ter·step

  76. coun·ter·strat·e·gist

  77. coun·ter·strat·e·gy

  78. coun·ter·stream

  79. coun·ter·strike

  80. coun·ter·stroke

  81. coun·ter·style

  82. coun·ter·sue

  83. coun·ter·sug·ges·tion

  84. coun·ter·suit

  85. coun·ter·sur·veil·lance

  86. coun·ter·tac·tics

  87. coun·ter·ten·den·cy

  88. coun·ter·ter·ror

  89. coun·ter·ter·ror·ism

  90. coun·ter·ter·ror·ist

  91. coun·ter·threat

  92. coun·ter·thrust

  93. coun·ter·tra·di·tion

  94. coun·ter·trend

  95. coun·ter·vi·o·lence

  96. coun·ter·world

Origin of counter-

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




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

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ