coun·​ter·​ex·​am·​ple | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ig-ˌzam-pəl How to pronounce counterexample (audio) \

Definition of counterexample

: an example that refutes or disproves a proposition or theory

Examples of counterexample in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jack Avedon thought his son was soft and overly sensitive, and provided a grim counterexample by dumping Avedon’s mother and refusing to support her. Scott Eyman, WSJ, "‘What Becomes a Legend Most’ Review: Avedon’s Vision," 11 Dec. 2020 The counterexample that demonstrates the genius of his approach is France. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Self-Interest Is Not Enough: Lincoln’s Classical Revision of the Founding," 18 Sep. 2020 The Nevada case, then, provides a counterexample to that. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Scientists are reporting several cases of Covid-19 reinfection — but the implications are complicated," 28 Aug. 2020 But a counterexample is electric-car manufacturer Tesla, which received a $465 million federal loan in 2010 and went on to achieve considerable success. Washington Post, "To counter China, some Republicans are abandoning free-market orthodoxy," 26 Aug. 2020 Matt Ruff, meanwhile, poses an interesting counterexample to that trio of writers, because Ruff, who is white, penned a book about Black life that passes whatever the racial version of the Bechdel Test is. Peter Rubin, Wired, "Lovecraft Country Is a Necessary Re-Imagining of Genre Fiction," 17 Aug. 2020 But just a single counterexample can prove a theory false. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, "The False Logic behind Science Denial," 1 Aug. 2020 This is not to say there aren’t counterexamples and gray areas. Jack Butler, National Review, "Led Zeppelin Defeats Claims of Copyright Infringement," 14 Mar. 2020 Figure 4, for example, looks at first like a counterexample to the crystallographic restriction, with five-fold rotational symmetry around point A, and wallpaper pattern shifts in the directions of AB and AC. Quanta Magazine, "How to Make Impossible Wallpaper," 5 Mar. 2013

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

1809, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of counterexample was in 1809

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Cite this Entry

“Counterexample.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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