coun·​ter·​pow·​er ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce counterpower (audio)
variants or counter-power
plural counterpowers or counter-powers
: a power that offsets or checks an opposing power
So they gave the counterpower of the veto to the president so he could keep the Congress under control.Eugene McCarthy
The idea is that against power over people, we must exert a counterpower over the oppressors.Jeremy David Bendik-Keymer
It remains to be shown how, in a country claiming to be a democracy, a veritable hidden counter-power operating outside institutional controls … could have grown up at the very center of the state.Patrice Claude

Examples of counterpower in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With no theoretical limit on the power of the people, and with the brakes of local institutions and counterpower of aristocracy gone, whatever passions that lit up the masses could rapidly occupy the state and call themselves justice. Jedediah Britton-Purdy, The New Republic, 22 Apr. 2022

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

1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of counterpower was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near counterpower

Cite this Entry

“Counterpower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

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