coun·​ter·​claim | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌklām How to pronounce counterclaim (audio) \

Definition of counterclaim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an opposing claim especially : a claim brought by a defendant against a plaintiff in a legal action


counterclaimed; counterclaiming; counterclaims

Definition of counterclaim (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to enter or plead a counterclaim

transitive verb

: to ask in a counterclaim

Examples of counterclaim in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Grant residents doubled down, filing a counterclaim against the DEP and voting to legalize nonviolent direct action against any state or corporate entity that infringes upon the community’s right to self-government. Colin Jerolmack, The New Republic, 26 July 2022 In their counterclaim, the Buttons included images of text messages, purportedly between Katz and Humphries, with the Oilers owner setting up a UBS account in her name and depositing $75,000. David K. Li, NBC News, 21 July 2022 Heard then filed a $100 million counterclaim, also for defamation. CBS News, 13 July 2022 Heard, for her part, prevailed in part of her counterclaim against Depp. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, 2 June 2022 The jury also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard in her counterclaim. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2022 Her counterclaim alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress. Kevin Grasha, The Enquirer, 17 Dec. 2021 The trial court also found that Dear failed to properly allege a retaliatory action by Albuquerque because the retaliation took the form of a civil counterclaim rather than a criminal proceeding. Jack Greiner, The Enquirer, 15 July 2022 The jury is also deciding on Heard’s $100 million counterclaim: That three statements made in the media by an attorney working for Depp, Adam Waldman, hurt her reputation and career by dismissing her allegations as false. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, 31 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The court also dismissed Windstream’s counterclaims against Aurelius. Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2019 Perry’s counterclaims, however, are pending in court. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, 10 May 2018 The foundation asked for a dismissal of all claims and counterclaimed for payment of $960,000. Milton Esterow, Vanities, 19 Feb. 2017 The foundation asked for a dismissal of all claims and counterclaimed for payment of $960,000. Milton Esterow, Vanities, 19 Feb. 2017 The foundation asked for a dismissal of all claims and counterclaimed for payment of $960,000. Milton Esterow,, 5 Jan. 2017 While finding that a number of facts remain in dispute, Bledsoe dismissed Hopkins’ defamation claims and Michael Waltrip Racing’s counterclaims accusing Hopkins of stealing pit crew tools and misappropriating trade secrets about one of the tools. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, 1 June 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of counterclaim


1784, in the meaning defined above


1857, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for counterclaim

Time Traveler

The first known use of counterclaim was in 1784

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Dictionary Entries Near counterclaim

counter check



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Statistics for counterclaim

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Counterclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for counterclaim


coun·​ter·​claim | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌklām How to pronounce counterclaim (audio) \

Legal Definition of counterclaim

: a claim for relief that is asserted against an opposing party after an original claim has been made — compare affirmative defense at defense, cross-action, cross-appeal, cross-claim, interpleader, third-party claim

Other Words from counterclaim

counterclaim verb

More from Merriam-Webster on counterclaim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for counterclaim

Britannica English: Translation of counterclaim for Arabic Speakers


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