coun·​ter·​bal·​ance | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌba-lən(t)s How to pronounce counterbalance (audio) , ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈba- \

Definition of counterbalance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a weight that balances another
2 : a force or influence that offsets or checks an opposing force


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

Definition of counterbalance (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As a counterbalance to their harsh day, allow your kids the gentleness of a hug or cuddle. Megan Marples, CNN, 9 Aug. 2021 Personnel aboard the space station launched other thrusters as a counterbalance. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 In playing host, Iran seeks counterbalance against regional rivals like Saudi Arabia that typically wield greater influence over Sunni groups in the Middle East. Fox News, 8 July 2021 This gargantuan bulb, located at the bottom of the keel, serves as a huge counterbalance that keeps the yacht stable as its massive sails propel it forward. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 16 July 2021 Belkin is part of a constellation of liberal groups lobbying Congress and Biden to add seats to the Supreme Court and appoint more liberal members as a counterbalance to the conservative majority. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 29 June 2021 Iran also relies on militias like Yemen's Houthi rebels and Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group for counterbalance against enemies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, respectively. Isabel Debre And Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, 21 June 2021 Showcasing The Store As Essential Experiential retail exists as a counterbalance to the fact that the widespread availability of e-commerce means shopping in a physical store is no longer a necessity. Benjamin Zenou, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Many vinegars are used to cut through fat, to add sharp counterbalance to oil in a dressing, or to amp up the sour notes in a complex sauce. Clarissa Wei, Bon Appétit, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Enterprises are under immense pressure to adopt cloud technologies to counterbalance the impediments caused by the pandemic. Gaurav Aggarwal, Forbes, 23 June 2021 Venture capitalists often bank on a runaway success that ends up on a stock exchange or in a sale to a larger company to counterbalance their losses. Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2021 The importance of explainable AI Despite the pervasiveness of bias, experts have identified several ways to counterbalance it. Carol Mccall, STAT, 12 Aug. 2021 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reversed his decision to scrap a major defense pact with the U.S., salvaging a cornerstone of the two countries’ military alliance and reinforcing efforts to counterbalance an increasingly assertive China. Feliz Solomon, WSJ, 30 July 2021 The strips are a bit too plasticky tasting and the very sour sauce, meant to counterbalance the sugar, tastes a little gloppy. Lucas Kwan Peterson Food Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2021 Iran also relies on militias like Yemen's Houthis and Lebanon's Hezbollah to counterbalance against enemies like Saudi Arabia and Israel, respectively. Fox News, 21 June 2021 Memories of his humor, energy, and zest for living started to counterbalance some of the darker, previously dominant ghosts. Kevin Cashman, Forbes, 23 June 2021 That offered a nice bit of hope to counterbalance the grimness of the many permanently shuttered storefronts nearby. Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counterbalance.' 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 counterbalance


circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for counterbalance

Time Traveler

The first known use of counterbalance was circa 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near counterbalance



counterbalanced window

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Counterbalance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for counterbalance



English Language Learners Definition of counterbalance

: to have an effect that is opposite but equal to (something) : to balance (something) by being opposite

More from Merriam-Webster on counterbalance

Nglish: Translation of counterbalance for Spanish Speakers


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