coun·​ter·​val·​ue ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈval-(ˌ)yü How to pronounce countervalue (audio)
variants or counter-value
: being or relating to military activity that is focused on attacking targets of civilian value (such as major population centers)
In the cold parlance of nuclear strategy, targeting an adversary's population is known as a countervalue strategy; the name arises because live people are considered to have value, something a country would not want to lose.Richard Wolfson
compare counterforce entry 2

Word History

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of countervalue was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near countervalue

Cite this Entry

“Countervalue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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