: to set off or emphasize by juxtaposition : set in contrast
counterpoints the public and the private man—Tom Bishop
: to compose or arrange in counterpoint
Examples of counterpoint in a Sentence
The guitar and bass are played in counterpoint.
The dressing is a refreshing counterpoint to the spicy chicken.
The painting is a pleasant counterpoint to his earlier works.
The music works in counterpoint to the images on the screen. Verb
The violence of the movie is counterpointed by ironic humor.
Recent Examples on the Web
The counterpoint is, of course, that the rest of Newcastle’s matches against AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund were hardly routine for the Magpies who are no guarantee to progress.—Zak Garner-Purkis, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Robust governance requires multiple voices who can bring in counterpoints and minimize the risk of groupthink, says Lenkov.—Lila MacLellan, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2023 The composer’s synthesis of Baroque counterpoint with Brazilian folk music was easy listening compared to the rest of the program, and was warmly played by the Symphony.—Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 Other items provide a tactile counterpoint to the severely smooth interiors, including a pale-blue sofa upholstered in Loro Piana velvet and cashmere and a fluffy black-sheepskin chair on wheels by Cini Boeri for Arflex, which Rougeaux says is a hit with his son.—Lucy Alexander, Robb Report, 29 Oct. 2023 The show makes good use of video—a big screen sometimes dominates the stage, lending the play an alluring but ultimately false assurance of evidentiary truth, in counterpoint to the increasingly suspect action onstage.—Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 Welcome to Wittenmyer & Williams – a weekly point/counterpoint column from Enquirer Reds reporter Gordon Wittenmyer and sports columnist Jason Williams.—Jason Williams, The Enquirer, 6 Sep. 2023 Soft, diaphanous curtains soften the incoming sunlight and offer a textural counterpoint to the cold, grey concrete walls and the pale birch ply.—Kimberley Mok, Treehugger, 29 Aug. 2023 This book remains a useful counterpoint to such complacency by showing how the world’s most peaceful, egalitarian, green, and increasingly diverse continent is still far from utopia.—Hans Kundnani, Foreign Affairs, 24 Oct. 2023
The design inspiration will be European throughout the home, featuring a paint palette that is white and shades of gray that are visually counterpointed with wood accents and matte black pulls, door handles, and shower and bath fixtures.—John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, 12 July 2023 Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question displayed Geffen’s ability to project edge-of-audibility string sounds, punctuated by four flutes in a side balcony and counterpointed by a very quiet trumpet toward the back of the audience.—Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 30 Mar. 2023 To counterpoint the home, decorated in shades of green, pink and ochre, her middle school had splashes of color incorporated in posters, particularly in Mei’s science and math clubs.—Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 11 Mar. 2022 Her voice runs free to lead and counterpoint, to embroider around the notes and words, to demonstrate her power, her control, her mastery.—Tom Teicholz, Forbes, 16 May 2021 But the very first bite reveals a very pleasing surprise: very subtle but noticeable hints of black pepper and cayenne, not too spicy at all but just enough to counterpoint and emphasize the delicious chocolaty flavor.—Wolfgang Puck, chicagotribune.com, 11 Dec. 2019 The band’s true commitment is to counterpoint: to putting interlocking melody at every level of a song.—Jon Pareles, New York Times, 13 Apr. 2020 Both Rick Owens and Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia were at their inventive best, pushing their silhouettes in new, avant-garde directions, while at Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen, flawless suiting was counterpointed by seductive flower prints.—Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 6 Mar. 2019 Carpaccio di tonno — thin slices of ahi counterpointed by capers, olive oil and peppery arugula — was clean, simple and very good.—Kate Washington, sacbee, 8 June 2018 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'counterpoint.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Middle French contrepoint, from Medieval Latin contrapunctus, from Latin contra- counter- + Medieval Latin punctus musical note, melody, from Latin, act of pricking, from pungere to prick — more at pungent