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

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 The number of federal agencies and private companies who learn that they have been affected by a massive Russian hack is expected to grow as the investigation into it continues, the U.S. government's chief counterintelligence official said Tuesday. Eric Tucker, ajc, "Official: Number of victims of Russian hack likely to grow," 12 Jan. 2021 Flynn interrupted the briefer and tried to correct him; Trump asked whether China or Russia posed a greater counterintelligence threat. New York Times, "To Understand This Chaotic Transition, Rewind to the Last One," 15 Jan. 2017 Nor was he reported to Germany’s military counterintelligence agency, whose remit is to monitor extremism in the armed forces. New York Times, "A Far-Right Terrorism Suspect With a Refugee Disguise: The Tale of Franco A.," 29 Dec. 2020 Even as Iranian intelligence has pushed aggressively to expand its external influence via regional proxies, its domestic counterintelligence capabilities have significantly weakened. Kamran Bokhari, WSJ, "Home Is No Haven for Iran’s Regime," 27 Nov. 2020 Before that, Cohen-Watnick had worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, including in Afghanistan, and went on to work at the Justice Department on counterintelligence under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Pentagon shake-up to help cement Trump's legacy, bringing troops home and taking out enemies, White House source says," 13 Nov. 2020 Officials said the tax records seem to reflect other Trump traits that would probably trouble counterintelligence experts. Author: Greg Miller, Yeganeh Torbati, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s debts and foreign deals pose security risks, former intelligence officials say," 29 Sep. 2020 Espionage is an accepted part of international statecraft, one that states often respond to with arrests, diplomacy, or counterintelligence. Erica Borghard, Wired, "Russia's Hack Wasn't Cyberwar. That Complicates US Strategy," 17 Dec. 2020 In reversing course, the Justice Department concluded that Flynn’s lies were not material to any valid counterintelligence or criminal investigation. Washington Post, "Michael Flynn judge says pardon doesn’t mean ex-national security adviser is innocent," 8 Dec. 2020

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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The first known use of counterintelligence was in 1940

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Statistics for counterintelligence

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Counterintelligence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce counterintelligence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of counterintelligence

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

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