coun·​ter·​act | \ ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈakt How to pronounce counteract (audio) \
counteracted; counteracting; counteracts

Definition of counteract

transitive verb

: to make ineffective or restrain or neutralize the usually ill effects of by means of an opposite force, action, or influence a drug used to counteract fatigue

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Other Words from counteract

counteraction \ ˌkau̇n-​tər-​ˈak-​shən How to pronounce counteraction (audio) \ noun
counteractive \ ˌkau̇n-​tər-​ˈak-​tiv How to pronounce counteractive (audio) \ adjective

Examples of counteract in a Sentence

The drug will counteract the poison. this medication will counteract the symptoms but it won't kill the infection
Recent Examples on the Web Twists open up the upper back and counteract slumped posture. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "This 5-minute yoga routine will boost your energy and start the day right," 22 May 2020 Included in the document, say the officials, is a list of ways the U.S. is working to counteract China's behavior, including the Navy's freedom of navigation efforts, in which forces operate in areas China claims to own. NBC News, "White House China report calls Beijing's lack of transparency threat to U.S. interests, officials say," 20 May 2020 Catherine foresaw the need to write her own story through her memoirs, counteracting rumors that had spread as a result of her rise to power. Suyin Haynes, Time, "The Great Is Only 'Occasionally' True. But These Aspects of Hulu's Catherine the Great Series Are Based in History," 15 May 2020 To counteract this, Sutter Health this month launched a Covid Advice Line (866-961-2889). Sam Whiting,, "A shelter-in-place side effect: Bay Area people are afraid to go to the hospital," 23 Apr. 2020 To counteract these bad actors — and after years of effort — a new rule banning 44 species of invasive plants took effect Saturday. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "These common landscaping plants are now illegal to sell in Indiana. Here's why.," 21 Apr. 2020 The efforts range from monetary easing to keep financial markets operating and to lower interest rates, to fiscal spending to counteract the sharp drop-off in economic activity. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "IMF data shows over 190 countries’ economic responses to coronavirus-led disruptions," 2 Apr. 2020 The Fed, the Bank of England and other central banks have cut their policy rates to counteract fears over the virus pandemic, which has triggered a sharp fall in stock prices and bond yields. Megumi Fujikawa, WSJ, "Coronavirus-Driven Rate-Cutting Is Less Likely in Japan," 13 Mar. 2020 While the Trump administration dithers and argues with Congress and trips over its own feet, the Federal Reserve has moved decisively to counteract the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Jeff Spross, TheWeek, "The Fed's $1.5 trillion intervention, explained," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counteract.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of counteract

1655, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for counteract

Time Traveler

The first known use of counteract was in 1655

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Statistics for counteract

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counteract.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for counteract


How to pronounce counteract (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of counteract

: act against (something) : to cause (something) to have less of an effect or to have no effect at all


coun·​ter·​act | \ ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈakt How to pronounce counteract (audio) \
counteracted; counteracting

Kids Definition of counteract

: to make (something) have less of an effect or no effect at all The antidote counteracts the poison.


transitive verb
coun·​ter·​act | \ ˌkau̇nt-ə-ˈrakt How to pronounce counteract (audio) \

Medical Definition of counteract

: to make ineffective or restrain or neutralize the usually ill effects of by an opposite force vitamin K counteracts the effects of warfarin

Other Words from counteract

counteraction \ -​ˈrak-​shən How to pronounce counteraction (audio) \ noun

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