coun·​ter·​in·​tu·​i·​tive ˌkau̇n-tər-in-ˈtü-ə-tiv How to pronounce counterintuitive (audio)
: contrary to what one would intuitively expect
As counterintuitive as it may seem, the universe has no center, and it has no boundary.Jim Bell
counterintuitively adverb

Examples of counterintuitive in a Sentence

It may seem counterintuitive, but we do burn calories when we are sleeping.
Recent Examples on the Web Another counterintuitive aspect of TJX’s success: physical stores, not the Internet, rule supreme. Thomas Lee,, 10 Sep. 2023 The symbolism of GameStop, as a store, was essential to its counterintuitive stock success. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 The counterintuitive and sinewy motions of snakes, stingrays, and skydivers represent a strange kind of motion that is notoriously hard to simulate, animate, or anticipate. IEEE Spectrum, 3 Sep. 2023 Yet unless clear rules and parameters are set to ensure that all parties are treated equally and fairly — which in itself seems counterintuitive to the wider principles of polyamory in wanting to live and love with fewer rules — some participants will always be left wanting. Anonymous,, 13 July 2023 While adding a sweetener to savory dishes might sound counterintuitive to novice cooks, the more experienced among us know that sugar can be used to mask undesirable flavors, enhance good ones, improve mouthfeel and aid in browning. Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2023 This seems counterintuitive because water polo is renowned for its demanding training regimen, which often exceeds six hours per day with pool sessions and additional conditioning. Christopher Ramsey, Fortune, 24 Aug. 2023 One of the more counterintuitive effects of climate change is that a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor than a colder one. WIRED, 27 July 2023 Sure, this electrification movement can feel counterintuitive given the power grid concerns. Chris Hopper, Fortune, 3 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'counterintuitive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1955, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of counterintuitive was in 1955

Dictionary Entries Near counterintuitive

Cite this Entry

“Counterintuitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

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