coun·​ter·​of·​fen·​sive | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ə-ˌfen(t)-siv How to pronounce counteroffensive (audio) \

Definition of counteroffensive

: a large-scale military offensive undertaken by a force previously on the defensive

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of counteroffensive in a Sentence

They mounted a counteroffensive against the enemy. the army launched a counteroffensive at dawn
Recent Examples on the Web For a president who came to power eschewing Washington politics, Trump ran a textbook insider counteroffensive to the impeachment trial, allies and political veterans said. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Charm, patience and Twitter tactics: How Trump, McConnell prevented GOP defections on impeachment," 6 Feb. 2020 The army’s counteroffensive turned Pushtun areas into a war zone. The Economist, "Arresting the messenger A prominent critic of Pakistan’s army is hauled into court," 30 Jan. 2020 Interest in mounting such a counteroffensive has been building on the right of late. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 23 Jan. 2020 In Chattanooga, for instance, the team’s co-owner is pitching a plan for a new baseball stadium as a counteroffensive to MLB’s contraction plan, according to media reports. al, "Take me out to the (abandoned) ballpark: What’s next for languishing stadiums?," 8 Dec. 2019 In 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the United States, and South Korea., "This day in history," 26 Nov. 2019 In December of 1944, the Germans mounted a counteroffensive, pushing through the Allied line in southern Belgium and Luxembourg in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Greg Miller, Smithsonian, "The Untold Story of the Secret Mission to Seize Nazi Map Data," 23 Oct. 2019 But the company launched a counteroffensive against Markopolos, convincing Wall Street that the allegations are way off the mark. Matt Egan, CNN, "'Revered industrial CEO God:' GE's Larry Culp faces high expectations, and a tough turnaround," 10 Oct. 2019 After initially denying the existence of the indoctrination centers, China over the last year has launched an aggressive public relations counteroffensive to portray its Xinjiang program as a viable counter-extremism model. Washington Post, "In a first, 22 nations condemned China’s repression of Uigher Muslims. Without the U.S.," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counteroffensive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of counteroffensive

1909, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about counteroffensive

Time Traveler for counteroffensive

Time Traveler

The first known use of counteroffensive was in 1909

See more words from the same year

Statistics for counteroffensive

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counteroffensive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for counteroffensive


How to pronounce counteroffensive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of counteroffensive

: an attack made in order to defend against an enemy or opponent

More from Merriam-Webster on counteroffensive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for counteroffensive

Comments on counteroffensive

What made you want to look up counteroffensive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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