coun·​ter·​stream ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌstrēm How to pronounce counterstream (audio)
variants or counter-stream
plural counterstreams or counter-streams
: a stream which runs counter to another
… those concealed rocks which I found when I was out in my boat; and which rocks, as they checked the violence of the stream, and made a kind of counter-stream, or eddy …Daniel Defoe
… there has been a counterstream of migrants returning from Britain and North America to many parts of the Caribbean …George Gmelch
: something (such as a political, cultural, or religious system) that is different from or opposed to the mainstream
… a convincing argument that the Appalachian religion is an authentic counterstream to modern, mainstream Protestantism.The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
But there is a critical difference between counterstream and mainstream cultures. The counterstream cultures lived in harmony with their environment, because they either had to or they chose to.Majda Bastic

Word History

First Known Use

1719, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of counterstream was in 1719

Dictionary Entries Near counterstream

Cite this Entry

“Counterstream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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