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

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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

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 Last week, as the possibility of large-scale raids surfaced, immigrant-rights advocates mounted a legal counteroffensive., "Threatened ICE raids create more political noise than police action," 15 July 2019 At the same time, Voters for Animal Rights has mounted a counteroffensive. J. David Goodman, New York Times, "When Big Tobacco Invoked Eric Garner to Fight a Menthol Cigarette Ban," 14 July 2019 The diplomatic counteroffensive launched by Mexico this week includes a Tuesday meeting of trade negotiator Jesus Seade with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer. Washington Post, "The Latest: Trump expects tariffs on Mexico to go in effect," 5 June 2019 According to the Pentagon, the group is still able to coordinate offensives and counteroffensives. Julie Pace, The Seattle Times, "Trump to call for unity, face skepticism in State of Union," 4 Feb. 2019 But the effort to regulate and tax adult-use cannabis has hit stumbling blocks in Albany amid disputes over revenue, who will have access to licenses and an intensifying counteroffensive by marijuana opponents. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Legalizing Marijuana Hits Hurdles in Albany," 21 Mar. 2019 Securing the Solomons would protect halt Japan’s southern advance towards Australia and New Zealand while setting the groundwork for the beginning of a counteroffensive to push the Japanese all the way back to the Japanese home islands. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Explorers Have Found the Wreckage of the Sunken World War II Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp," 14 Mar. 2019 But gathering this information is nonetheless vital for the counteroffensive against poor air quality. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why India’s air pollution is so horrendous," 31 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of counteroffensive

1909, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for counteroffensive

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for counteroffensive

The first known use of counteroffensive was in 1909

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English Language Learners Definition of counteroffensive

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

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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