counterbalance

1 of 2

noun

coun·​ter·​bal·​ance ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌba-lən(t)s How to pronounce counterbalance (audio)
ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈba-
1
: a weight that balances another
2
: a force or influence that offsets or checks an opposing force

counterbalance

2 of 2

verb

coun·​ter·​bal·​ance ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈba-lən(t)s How to pronounce counterbalance (audio)
ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌba-
counterbalanced; counterbalancing; counterbalances

transitive verb

1
: to oppose or balance with an equal weight or force
2
: to equip with counterbalances

Examples of counterbalance in a Sentence

Noun charitable giving is usually a good counterbalance to the self-indulgent commercialism of the Christmas season Verb The author's wry humor counterbalances the book's serious subject matter. a hearty dinner might counterbalance missing lunch
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
San Jose Stage Artistic Director Randall King said the show, directed by Johnny Moreno and running through June 30, is a good counterbalance to all the troubling realities these days. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, 11 June 2024 Meanwhile, Devon Walker’s semi-credulous Sharpe does more than get out of the way; his objections form a necessary counterbalance to the sheer force of Nwodim as Williams. Joe Berkowitz, Vulture, 23 May 2024
Verb
That’s because global emissions must reach net zero within a few decades to meet the Paris timeline, meaning any remaining carbon going into the atmosphere must be counterbalanced by an equal amount coming out. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, 9 June 2024 Iran wields tremendous influence in Iraq, but that influence would be even stronger without U.S. forces to counterbalance it. Daniel Byman, Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for counterbalance 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'counterbalance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of counterbalance was circa 1611

Dictionary Entries Near counterbalance

Cite this Entry

“Counterbalance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterbalance. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

counterbalance

1 of 2 noun
coun·​ter·​bal·​ance ˈkau̇nt-ər-ˌbal-ən(t)s How to pronounce counterbalance (audio)
ˌkau̇nt-ər-ˈbal-
1
: a weight that balances another
2
: a force or influence that checks an opposing force

counterbalance

2 of 2 verb
: to oppose or balance with an equal weight or force

More from Merriam-Webster on counterbalance

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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