coun·​ter·​play | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌplā How to pronounce counterplay (audio) \
variants: or counter-play
plural counterplays or counter-plays

Definition of counterplay

: opposing or contrasting play or an instance of this: such as
a : a countering move or maneuver in a game or competition Managing your way through these middle rounds will require you to probably play very tight and conservative poker, whereby you will focus more on the quality of your own hands and the playing zones of your opponents rather than on positional requirements or any possible moves or counterplays that might appear to be advantageous.— Victor H. Royer also : play (see play entry 1 sense 1c) involving the use of counterplays You're considering your twenty-fourth move of the game. You're thinking of advancing a pawn of your own, to try to get some counterplay going … — Robert R. Desjarlais
b : interaction or contrast between opposing or dissimilar elements As always, the main tension that drives these songs is the counterplay of Paul Desmond's lyrical alto sax and Brubeck's dynamic, off-kilter piano.— Matthew Fiander

First Known Use of counterplay

1878, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of counterplay was in 1878

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Cite this Entry

“Counterplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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