counterforce

noun
coun·​ter·​force | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌfȯrs How to pronounce counterforce (audio) \
variants: or counter-force
plural counterforces or counter-forces

Definition of counterforce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a force that opposes another force The hands grip a series of holds or shuffle along an edge, while the feet provide a counterforce by pushing against the rock …— Don Graydon Everywhere, we are witnessing an almost mad race between resurgent nationalism, ethnic hatreds and the counter-force of potential prosperity and free exchange.— George Steiner Hideki Yukawa's theory suggested that by exchanging a particle with a particular mass, one could create a strong attractive counterforce that would bind protons to protons, protons to neutrons, and neutrons to neutrons.— Leon Lederman et al.

counterforce

adjective
variants: or counter-force

Definition of counterforce (Entry 2 of 2)

: being or relating to military activity that is focused on reducing the fighting capability of the opponent's forces (as by destroying military bases or weapons) while attempting to minimize civilian casualties Targeting military facilities … is a counterforce strategy, aimed at destruction of an opponent's armed forces.— Richard Wolfson — compare countervalue

First Known Use of counterforce

Noun

1609, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1955, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About counterforce

Time Traveler for counterforce

Time Traveler

The first known use of counterforce was in 1609

See more words from the same year

Statistics for counterforce

Cite this Entry

“Counterforce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterforce. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on counterforce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for counterforce

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!