coun·​ter·​vail | \ ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈvāl How to pronounce countervail (audio) \
countervailed; countervailing; countervails

Definition of countervail

transitive verb

1 : to compensate for
2 archaic : equal, match
3 : to exert force against : counteract

intransitive verb

: to exert force against an opposing and often bad or harmful force or influence

Examples of countervail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The lack of enthusiasm among investors and executives suggests a countervailing force is at work. Washington Post, "Trump’s Trade War Puts Animal Spirits on the Endangered List," 18 Sep. 2019 So while Amazon is trusted, no countervailing force has the inclination or capacity to restrain it. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan," 10 Oct. 2019 For better or worse, tourism represents one of the few countervailing forces against this trend. Stephen Heyman, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Road Trip Through Auvergne’s Natural Wineries and Charming Bistros," 11 Nov. 2019 The teacher unions currently have no countervailing force. Karl Zinsmeister, National Review, "The School-Reform Battle," 9 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, there is no countervailing benefit to us with Turkey. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 24 Oct. 2019 So the hot-desking drive has been accompanied by a countervailing trend, in which this elite get better facilities. The Economist, "Even if WeWork is in trouble the office is still being reinvented," 28 Sep. 2019 The supposedly countervailing evidence that these products help people avoid combustible cigarettes is limited. Washington Post, "We Know Far Too Little About Vaping Risks," 12 Sep. 2019 An article on Friday about countervailing tariffs imposed on the United States by the European Union misstated the day of President Trump’s speech in Duluth, Minn. New York Times, "Corrections: June 23, 2018," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'countervail.' 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 countervail

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for countervail

Middle English countrevailen, from Anglo-French cuntrevaloir, from cuntre- counter- + valoir to be worth, from Latin valēre — more at wield

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The first known use of countervail was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Countervail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on countervail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with countervail

Britannica English: Translation of countervail for Arabic Speakers

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