coun·​ter·​in·​tel·​li·​gence | \ˌkau̇n-tər-in-ˈte-lə-jən(t)s \

Definition of counterintelligence 

: organized activity of an intelligence service designed to block an enemy's sources of information, to deceive the enemy, to prevent sabotage, and to gather political and military information

Examples of counterintelligence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Officials said the equipment was operational when Dutch counterintelligence interrupted the operation. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Seattle Times, "Russia dismisses suspected spy actions as routine Dutch trip," 8 Oct. 2018 So Papadopoulos is why the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties — the very investigation that Mueller now oversees. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Papadopoulos given 14-day sentence as part of the Mueller investigation," 7 Sep. 2018 Because the nature of the hostile foreign nation is well known, counterintelligence investigations tend to be centered on individuals the FBI suspects to be witting or unwitting agents of that foreign power. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "Read Former FBI Director James Comey's Full Remarks for His Senate Hearing Tomorrow," 7 June 2017 There were no crimes to justify criminal investigation, and no intelligence that justify the counterintelligence probe. Fox News, "Sekulow: Trump will decide whether he sits down with Mueller," 8 Aug. 2018 Why doesn't the president ask his director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, to look into the counterintelligence side of this? Fox News, "Preparations for a Trump-Kim summit getting back on track," 3 June 2018 The document includes more than 25 recommendations related to elections and cybersecurity, counterintelligence practices and campaign finance rules. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Despite Mueller’s Push, House Republicans Declare No Evidence of Collusion," 12 Mar. 2018 The document includes more than 25 recommendations related to elections and cybersecurity, counterintelligence practices, and campaign finance rules. Nicholas Fandos,, "GOP report finds no collusion between Trump and Russia in 2016," 12 Mar. 2018 Its primary roles include political, economic and counterintelligence, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) explains. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "What's the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency? 3 things to know," 13 July 2018

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

1940, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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The first known use of counterintelligence was in 1940

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English Language Learners Definition of counterintelligence

: activity meant to hide the truth from an enemy or to prevent the enemy from learning secret information

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