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

There’s also a concern Mexico would put countervailing tariffs on the U.S. goods if the new trade war escalates. Ana Radelat,, "Mexican tariffs could cost CT consumers up to $626 million, U.S. Chamber of Commerce says," 5 June 2019 American growers of crops such as apples, cherries, peaches and potatoes would suffer if Mexico, an important market, imposes countervailing duties. David Karp,, "What Trump's tariffs may mean for your avocado toast habit," 3 June 2019 The rule would allow U.S. companies to file a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, the first stop in arguing for countervailing duties... Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "U.S. Weighs Letting Companies Seek New Penalties Over Currency Manipulation," 24 May 2019 So for all the bad headwinds in the House, there's countervailing headwinds in the Senate races. Fox News, "Jay Sekulow: Mueller investigation needs to end 'very soon'," 9 Aug. 2018 That includes Chapter 19, which provides a mechanism for Nafta partners to challenge antidumping and countervailing duties. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "The Rocky Path to a New Nafta," 5 Aug. 2018 And yet at the same time there are countervailing forces that push us in the opposite direction, and so America exists in this perpetual tension between liberal democracy and reactionary fascism. Sean Illing, Vox, "A Yale philosopher on fascism, truth, and Donald Trump.," 15 Dec. 2018 The countervailing force to Mr. Trump is women—candidates and voters alike—who have formed the core of the Democrats’ hopes. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Trump vs. Democratic Women: Headline Fight of the 2018 Campaign," 5 Nov. 2018 One sticking point is Chapter 19, a provision of NAFTA that sends trade disputes involving anti-dumping and countervailing duties to be decided before an independent panel, rather than domestic courts. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Here’s what happens if the US and Canada can’t make a NAFTA deal by Friday," 31 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about countervail

Statistics for countervail

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for countervail

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

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on countervail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with countervail

Britannica English: Translation of countervail for Arabic Speakers

Comments on countervail

What made you want to look up countervail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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