Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A countering attack or blow, especially one delivered by a boxer.
  • intransitive v. To deliver a counterpunch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A punch delivered in return of a previous punch by somebody else, such as an opponent in a boxing match.
  • v. To deliver a punch designed to exploit an opponent's momentary defensive weakness caused by a punch thrown by the opponent.
  • v. To deliver a competitive response to an opponent designed to exploit a weakness created by the opponent's offensive efforts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a return punch (especially by a boxer)

Etymologies

counter- +‎ punch (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As I look at what happened this week, I've always believed in politics that the counterpunch is more effective than the punch.

    Huckabee on McCain vs. Obama - Real Clear Politics – TIME.com

  • The website counterpunch is a little far left for my taste.

    Think Progress » Bolten ‘Recovery Plan’ Calls on Bush to Rattle Sabers at Iran For Domestic Political Gain

  • It is sad, very sad to watch a great champion being beaten in a one-sided fight where he cannot offer any meaningful counterpunch, which is what boxing is all about.

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  • | Reply | Permalink why do you have a handwring-fest every time Obama hits back at the Clintons, but are silent when Clinton disparages Obama? of course this was meant to draw attention to the comments themselves as much as the messenger, a retired General supporting Obama. of course the counterpunch was a bit over the top, but that's to get it (and thus the original comment) recognition, and it certainly isn't more over the top than either the original statement or any of a half dozen Clinton/Clintonista comments over the past few days.

    Obama-Supporting Retired General Compares Bill Clinton To Joe McCarthy

  • Osama Obama's "counterpunch" will be a farrago of "ummms" and outright lies.

    Hot Air » Top Picks

  • Conservatives have a different cultural habit, a kind of counterpunch to progressives (somewhat less so to libertarians): ‘you think you’re so smart, but you’re not.’

    Matthew Yglesias » Wonks and Teachers

  • Arguably, this white identity politics helped swing the 2000 and 2004 elections, serving as the powerful counterpunch to urban white liberals, and the McCain-Palin campaign relied on it almost to the point of absurdity (as when a McCain surrogate dismissed Northern Virginia as somehow not part of “the real Virginia”) as a bulwark against the threatening multiculturalism of Barack Obama.

    The End of White America?

  • But the GOP can easily counterpunch, noting the leading role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises, had in bringing about the financial crisis.

    Obama's Strategy—And How to Fight It

  • Loomis Corp. tried to buy out DHL early on, threatening to drive it under using by using Loomis's contacts with federal aviation officials "We've done it before," an executive explained, but Hillblom simply ignored shut-down orders from the government until he could counterpunch.

    Overnight and Underage

  • She offered a counterpunch of her own in noting the ages of some of the world's finest fighters: Manny Pacquiao (32), Floyd Mayweather Jr. (34) and the Klitschkos (Wladimir, 35, and Vitali, 40).

    Is Aging Zab Judah Still Brooklyn Tough?

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