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 Researchers told the wire service that the thick, one-meter device, which is worn using a harness, functions the same way a money or a cheetah’s tail does, by providing its owner with a counterbalance during demanding movements. Peter Holley, Washington Post, "Japanese researchers want to give your grandma a robotic monkey tail," 20 Aug. 2019 The light walls and ceramic tile floor provide a counterbalance. John Ellement, Real Estate, "Home of the Week: Farmhand quarters serve as office suite in Needham antique," 21 Aug. 2019 The group was seen by some in the A.I. community as an important counterbalance to large technology corporations that have snapped up talent and used their computing power and huge data hoards to leap ahead in the field. Fortune, "Microsoft Invests $1 Billion in Partnership with Elon Musk’s OpenAI," 22 July 2019 Now, with the arrival of brother Robin from the Bulls, there is a physical counterbalance in the power rotation to provide rebounding and grit. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Outside signings might prove more impactful to Heat | Commentary," 3 Aug. 2019 But if Iron Man established the MCU as a place where a cynical wink could win the day, First Avenger is its hyper-sincere, necessary counterbalance. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "From Iron Man to Spider-Man: Far From Home: all 23 Marvel movies, ranked," 26 Oct. 2017 Researchers told the wire service that the thick, one-meter device, which is worn using a harness, functions the same way a money or a cheetah's tail does, by providing its owner with a counterbalance during demanding movements., "Japanese researchers want to give your grandma a robotic monkey tail," 21 Aug. 2019 A year after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy, with the war in Vietnam raging, Woodstock was a counterbalance. CBS News, "Woodstock at 50, in the words, and music, of those who were there," 4 Aug. 2019 Coaches will push Thomas towards that more and more, especially since fellow safety Tony Jefferson, though better in the box than in space, is a versatile counterbalance. Andy Benoit,, "How Will Free-Agency Losses Impact Ravens’ Top Defense?," 15 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Fed is widely expected to cut rates in July or September to counterbalance the harm from Trump’s trade war, which has sent business confidence and investment down. Washington Post, "Trump says he will nominate Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton to reshape Federal Reserve," 2 July 2019 But that was counterbalanced with the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, which slipped further in July. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow futures rally on trade optimism," 26 Aug. 2019 By next year, about 60% of U.S. naval forces will be based in the Pacific, up from 40% a decade ago, partly to counterbalance China’s modernizing military. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "Navy awards $154 million construction contract to modernize Seal Beach base," 5 Sep. 2019 The government hopes that talk of a big fiscal boost will counterbalance the gloom. The Economist, "Preparing for no deal is a paradoxical process," 1 Aug. 2019 What Canada’s worked to do is counterbalance that profit motive. . . Naomi Martin,, "In legalizing marijuana, Canada did everything differently. Here’s what we can learn," 20 July 2019 That threatens humans because amphibians counterbalance insects, such as mosquitoes, that spread disease. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Battle to save Colorado high-country toads goes microbial with ground-breaking Purple Rain treatment," 13 July 2019 That counterbalanced a relatively high rate of child and teen deaths, and low birth-weight babies. Anna Claire Vollers |,, "Despite improvement, Alabama drops in 2019 Kids Count ranking," 17 June 2019 But the resulting loss in livelihoods and wages eventually had an effect on the demand for the formal sector output, because there were no counterbalancing moves by the government. Jayati Ghosh, Quartz India, "While India was busy celebrating its “ease of doing business” ranking, its real economy tanked," 5 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for counterbalance

Last Updated

22 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for counterbalance

The first known use of counterbalance was circa 1611

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More Definitions for counterbalance


How to pronounce counterbalance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of counterbalance

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

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Comments on counterbalance

What made you want to look up counterbalance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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