coun·​ter·​nar·​ra·​tive ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈner-ə-tiv How to pronounce counternarrative (audio)
variants or counter-narrative
plural counternarratives or counter-narratives
: an alternative or contradictory narrative
Theirs was a counternarrative that contrasted starkly with the assessments of military commanders who lauded the operation as a triumph.Luke Mogelson
As ever, we entrust our history to scientists, sometimes governments and corporations, rather than to those who produce counter-narratives that could unsettle our place in the world.Sarah Cefai

Examples of counternarrative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The counternarrative is in part animated by a series of particularly stiff sentences for the Jan. 6 defendants, including one of more than 12 years in prison handed down on Wednesday for a rioter who savagely assaulted a D.C. police officer, Michael Fanone. Robert Draper, New York Times, 23 June 2023 Attempts to commemorate the Nakba have long been rooted in a counternarrative that connects Palestinian culture and society to their pre-1948 hometowns and villages. Maha Nassar, The Conversation, 11 May 2023 The counternarrative also had echoes of the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which many Trump supporters blamed left-wing activists for the violence. Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2023 The debate is one of the last opportunities for his rivals to offer a counternarrative about his candidacy. New York Times, 16 June 2021 Spinning together a counternarrative for tens of millions of viewers, Russian propagandists plucked clips from American cable news, right-wing social media and Chinese officials. Aaron Krolik, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2022 For this reason and others, Harris’ book—written in engaging prose while filling more than 700 pages—represents both an overdue corrective and a compelling counternarrative. Luke Savage, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 Nayeri offered an astonishing counternarrative. Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 17 Dec. 2022 The power of a relic isn’t in its aesthetics but in its narrative — and this unremarkable domestic object holds within it the story of Manifest Destiny overlaid with Didion’s trenchant counternarrative. Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'counternarrative.' 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

circa 1685, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of counternarrative was circa 1685

Dictionary Entries Near counternarrative

Cite this Entry

“Counternarrative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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