coun·​ter·​clock·​wise | \ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈkläk-ˌwīz \

Definition of counterclockwise 

: in a direction opposite to that in which the hands of a clock rotate as viewed from in front

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Other Words from counterclockwise

counterclockwise adjective

Examples of counterclockwise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Birth charts are read counterclockwise with the Ascendant's horizontal line delineating the First House. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 Keeping shoulders flat, knees together, rotate knees in big circles—clockwise, counterclockwise. Harper's BAZAAR, "Problem Solving Guide for Your Body," 24 Jan. 2014 Linton theorized the clear water came about because Subtropical Storm Alberto in late May moved counterclockwise up the Mississippi River’s east side, directing the river’s drainage to the east. Jose R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle, "Galveston’s blue water was a boon for island business," 6 July 2018 Winds rotate counterclockwise around low pressure, keeping us locked in a moisture-rich easterly flow. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "After 10 inches of rain in D.C., the Potomac is about to hit highest level in 8 years," 4 June 2018 Do 25 reps, then repeat counterclockwise for the same amount. Sara Angle, Outside Online, "5 Moves for Better Grip Strength," 3 May 2018 They're used to keep nuts and bolts that rotate counterclockwise from working themselves off. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things My Father Taught Me," 17 June 2016 But the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (and, in fact, nearly all American horse races) run counterclockwise. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Kings honor players' Kentucky roots with Derby day cartoon. There's just one problem | The Sacramento Bee," 5 May 2018 Zoli and Brunet walked clockwise inside the queue as passengers were funneled counterclockwise along the outside of the queue. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando International Airport tops for bomb dogs," 13 Apr. 2018

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

1888, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for counterclockwise

The first known use of counterclockwise was in 1888

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English Language Learners Definition of counterclockwise

: in the direction opposite to movement of a clock's hands


adverb or adjective
coun·​ter·​clock·​wise | \ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈkläk-ˌwīz \

Kids Definition of counterclockwise

: in a direction opposite to that in which the hands of a clock move

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Comments on counterclockwise

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


by force of circumstances

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