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

The provision serves as a sort of counterweight, meant to help pay for the rest of the legislation. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The VA’s latest issues paying student veterans their benefits, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 Earlier in the year, the person familiar with the alliance’s deliberations said, the Japanese government had tried to act as a counterweight to the French state, which was asserting itself. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Nissan Enlisted Japanese Government to Fend Off Renault Merger," 15 Feb. 2019 Thanks to the new research, evidence going back nearly a century now shows that unions have formed a critical counterweight to the power of companies. Susan Dynarski, New York Times, "Fresh Proof That Strong Unions Help Reduce Income Inequality," 6 July 2018 Their on-the-job pictures of colleagues offer a counterweight to the usually negative view of prison staff. Roberta Smith, Will Heinrich, Jason Farago, Martha Schwendener And Holland Cotter, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 1 Mar. 2018 With both a counterweight and suction cups, the new robot appears able to keep its balance as move through its commands flawlessly. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Boston Dynamics New Handle Bot Seems Destined For Warehouses," 28 Mar. 2019 North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean won’t be getting infusions of stability from NATO, which also cannot offer a counterweight to Erdogan’s nationalist rhetoric for Turkey. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "Even the Best-Case Scenario for What Trump Does at the NATO Summit Is Pretty Grim," 9 July 2018 The only counterweight to this enormous financial advantage is people power — organized citizen resistance. David Roberts, Vox, "Big Oil is using brute financial force to kill 2 state sustainability initiatives," 4 Nov. 2018 The top Republican representatives on those panels—such as firebrand conservative Jim Jordan, of Ohio, on Oversight—are likely to position themselves as counterweights to Democratic lines of inquiry. WSJ, "Issues That Will Drive Debate in the New Congress," 4 Jan. 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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Statistics for counterweight

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for counterweight

The first known use of counterweight was in 1693

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English Language Learners Definition of counterweight

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

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Comments on counterweight

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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