coun·​ter·​weight | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌwāt How to pronounce counterweight (audio) \

Definition of counterweight

: an equivalent weight or force : counterbalance

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Other Words from counterweight

counterweight transitive verb

Examples of counterweight in a Sentence

The crane has a heavy counterweight on the back. hard work can often be a counterweight to modest intelligence
Recent Examples on the Web Many Iraqi leaders still view an American presence as vital to its security, and depend on American training of the Iraqi security forces and, for better or worse, as a counterweight to Iranian influence. Falih Hassan, New York Times, "A Shocked Iraq Reconsiders Its Relationship With the U.S.," 3 Jan. 2020 But the threat of policy changes in Washington, D.C., could act as a counterweight. Washington Post, "After ebullient 2019, Wall Street warns of slower road ahead," 19 Dec. 2019 Dwarfed by China’s military, rival claimant states have looked at the US as a counterweight to the Asian powerhouse., "The war of words took place at the annual summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, hosted this year by Thailand. The meeting allows Southeast Asian leaders to deal as a bloc with the world’s major powers, leveraging their influence in making security and trade arrangements.," 5 Nov. 2019 India has adamantly refused to sign up for China’s ambitious One Belt One Road infrastructure project, positioning itself as a potential counterweight to China’s growing economic ambitions in Asia. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The 5 Things to Watch at Davos 2018," 20 Jan. 2018 An election sees the Greens, who have been peeling voters away from both parties, supplant the SPD as the main counterweight to the CDU—perhaps even becoming the leaders of the next coalition. Fortune Staff, Fortune, "2020 Crystal Ball: Predictions for the Economy, Politics, Technology, and More," 2 Dec. 2019 Some may offer as a defense that the school has had many laudable chapters in its past that serve as a counterweight to its scarlet infamy. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Scrubbing names is not enough! Macalester College must be closed!," 21 Nov. 2019 But Baltimore’s ground game was just a counterweight to its stingy defense, and the way that defense approached MVP Patrick Mahomes and the vaunted Chiefs offense is what made the contest—which ended 27–24, tilted in the Chiefs’ favor—so compelling. Andy Benoit,, "There’s No Good Way to Defend the Chiefs’ Offense—But the Ravens Have a Good Idea," 18 Sep. 2019 Their faith in the mask as a counterweight to state power finds echoes in a series of large-scale anti-capitalism demonstrations that took place around the world in June 1999. Mary Hui, Quartz, "A brief history of government efforts to stop people from wearing masks," 4 Oct. 2019

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

1693, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for counterweight

Time Traveler

The first known use of counterweight was in 1693

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Statistics for counterweight

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counterweight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for counterweight


How to pronounce counterweight (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of counterweight

: a weight that provides a balance against something of equal weight

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