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

  • adj. Contrary; opposing: moves and counter moves on the checkerboard.
  • n. One that is an opposite.
  • n. Sports A boxing blow given while receiving or parrying another.
  • n. Sports A fencing parry in which one foil follows the other in a circular fashion.
  • n. A stiff piece of leather around the heel of a shoe.
  • n. Nautical The portion of a ship's stern extending from the water line to the extreme outward swell.
  • n. Printing The depression between the raised lines of the face on a piece of type.
  • transitive v. To meet or return (a blow) by another blow.
  • transitive v. To move or act in opposition to; oppose.
  • transitive v. To offer in response: countered that she was too busy to be thorough.
  • intransitive v. To move, act, or respond so as to be in opposition.
  • adv. In a contrary manner or direction.
  • adv. To or toward an opposite or dissimilar course or outcome: a method running counter to traditional techniques.
  • n. A flat surface on which money is counted, business is transacted, or food is prepared or served.
  • n. Games A piece, as of wood or ivory, used for keeping a count or a place.
  • n. An imitation coin; a token.
  • n. A piece of money.
  • idiom over the counter Without being listed or available on an officially recognized stock exchange but traded in direct negotiation between buyers and sellers: bought stocks over the counter.
  • idiom over the counter Without a doctor's prescription being legally required: cold medicine that is available over the counter.
  • idiom under the counter In an illegal or surreptitious manner; illicitly: arrested for selling prescription drugs under the counter.
  • n. One that counts, especially an electronic or mechanical device that automatically counts occurrences or repetitions of phenomena or events.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An object (now especially a small disc) used in counting or keeping count, or as a marker in games, etc.
  • n. Any stone lying closer to the center than any of the opponent's stones.
  • n. A table or board on which money is counted and over which business is transacted; a shop tabletop on which goods are examined, weighed or measured.
  • n. One who counts, or reckons up; a reckoner.
  • n. A telltale; a contrivance attached to an engine, printing press, or other machine, for the purpose of counting the revolutions or the pulsations.
  • n. The prison attached to a city court; a Counter.
  • n. A class of word used along with numbers to count objects and events, typically mass nouns. Although rare and optional in English (e.g. "20 head of cattle"), they are numerous and required in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
  • n. In a kitchen, a surface, often built into the wall and above a cabinet, whereon various food preparations take place.
  • n. A proactive defensive hold or move in reaction to a hold or move by one's opponent.
  • n. A variable, memory location, etc. whose contents are incremented to keep a count.
  • n. A hit counter.
  • adv. Contrary, in opposition; in an opposite direction.
  • n. The overhanging stern of a vessel above the waterline.
  • n. The piece of a shoe or a boot around the heel of the foot (above the heel of the shoe/boot).
  • v. To contradict, oppose.
  • v. To return a blow while receiving one, as in boxing.
  • v. To take action in response to; to respond.
  • adj. Contrary; opposite; contrasted; opposed; adverse; antagonistic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who counts, or reckons up; a calculator; a reckoner.
  • n. A piece of metal, ivory, wood, or bone, used in reckoning, in keeping account of games, etc.
  • n. Money; coin; -- used in contempt.
  • n. A prison; either of two prisons formerly in London.
  • n. A telltale; a contrivance attached to an engine, printing press, or other machine, for the purpose of counting the revolutions or the pulsations.
  • n. A table or board on which money is counted and over which business is transacted; a long, narrow table or bench, on which goods are laid for examination by purchasers, or on which they are weighed or measured.
  • adv. Contrary; in opposition; in an opposite direction; contrariwise; -- used chiefly with run or go.
  • adv. In the wrong way; contrary to the right course.
  • adv. At or against the front or face.
  • adj. Contrary; opposite; contrasted; opposed; adverse; antagonistic.
  • n. The after part of a vessel's body, from the water line to the stern, -- below and somewhat forward of the stern proper.
  • n. Same as Contra. Formerly used to designate any under part which served for contrast to a principal part, but now used as equivalent to counter tenor.
  • n. The breast, or that part of a horse between the shoulders and under the neck.
  • n. The back leather or heel part of a boot.
  • n. An encounter.
  • intransitive v. To return a blow while receiving one, as in boxing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who counts or reckons; a computer; an auditor.
  • n. An apparatus for keeping count of revolutions or other movements.
  • n. A thing used in counting; that which indicates a number; that which is used to keep an account or reckoning, as in games; specifically, a piece of metal, ivory, wood, or other material, or a spurious or imitation coin, used for this purpose.
  • n. A piece of money; a coin; in plural, money.
  • n. In early English law, an attorney or serjeant at law retained to conduct a cause in court.
  • n. A counting-room.
  • n. A table or board on which money is counted; a table in a shop on which goods are laid for examination by purchasers.
  • n. Formerly, in England, a debtors' prison: used especially as the name of two prisons for debtors in the City of London, and of one in Southwark.
  • Contrary; in opposition; in an opposite direction: used chiefly with run or go: as, to run counter to the rules of virtue; he went counter to his own interest.
  • In the wrong way; contrary to the right course; in the reverse direction; contrariwise.
  • Directly in front; in or at the face.
  • Adverse; opposite; contrary; opposing; antagonistic.
  • Against; contrary or antagonistic to.
  • n. That which is counter or antagonistic; an opposite.
  • n. In music, any voice-part set in contrast to a principal melody or part; specifically, the counter-tenor; the high tenor or alto. Sometimes this part is sung an octave higher than it is written, thus becoming a high soprano.
  • n. That part of a horse's breast which lies between the shoulders and under the neck.
  • n. That part of a ship which lies between the water-line and the knuckle of the stern. The counter-timbers are short timbers in the stern, used to strengthen the counter.
  • n. The stiff leather forming the back part of a shoe or boot surrounding the heel of the wearer. See cut under boot.
  • n. In fencing, a parry in which the sword's point makes a complete curve, returning to its original position. The various counters are named with reference to the thrust to be parried, as the counter of carte, of tierce, etc.
  • n. Same as counter-lode.
  • In boxing, to give a return blow while receiving or parrying the blow of an antagonist.
  • In boxing, to meet or return by a counter-blow: as, to counter a blow.
  • In shoemaking, to put a counter upon; furnish with a counter: as, to counter a shoe.
  • To come against; meet; encounter.
  • To come into collision; encounter.
  • n. A meeting; an encounter.
  • n. A prefix of Latin origin, being a doublet of contra-, and appearing in words of Middle English origin, or in later words formed on the analogy of such. Considered merely as an English prefix, counter- is to be referred to counter, adverb, or counter, adjective See counter.
  • n.
  • n. The representative of the engineer-in-chief of a canal or similar public work, having special charge of the recording of quantities of excavation, embankment, or masonry.
  • n. The depressed part of the face of a coin, modal, or printing-type that gives relief and contrast to the raised part of the design.

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

  • n. game equipment (as a piece of wood, plastic, or ivory) used for keeping a count or reserving a space in various card or board games
  • n. a piece of leather forming the back of a shoe or boot
  • n. table consisting of a horizontal surface over which business is transacted
  • n. a person who counts things
  • n. a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
  • v. act in advance of; deal with ahead of time
  • n. a return punch (especially by a boxer)
  • n. a piece of furniture that stands at the side of a dining room; has shelves and drawers
  • v. speak in response
  • n. (computer science) a register whose contents go through a regular series of states (usually states indicating consecutive integers)
  • n. a calculator that keeps a record of the number of times something happens
  • adv. in the opposite direction
  • adj. indicating opposition or resistance


Middle English countre, from Old French contre, from Latin contrā; see counter-.
Middle English countour, from Anglo-Norman counteour, from Medieval Latin computātōrium, countinghouse, from Latin computāre, to calculate; see count1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Anglo-Norman countour, from Old French conteor (French comptoir), from Medieval Latin computatorium, from Latin computare. (Wiktionary)
From Old French contre, Anglo-Norman cuntre, both from Latin contra. (Wiktionary)
From counter-. (Wiktionary)


  • IV. ii.39 (193,5) [A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well] To _run counter_ is to _run backward_, by mistaking the course of the animal pursued; to _draw dry-foot_ is, I believe, to pursue by the _track_ or _prick of the foot_; to _run counter_ and _draw dry-foot well are_, therefore, inconsistent.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • Please try this sample: public class Test private int counter = 0; private static int scount = 0; public Test () ++counter;

    ASP.NET Forums

  • C++ Syntax (Toggle Plain Text) for (counter = 1; counter < = 10; counter++) for (counter = 1; counter < = 10; counter++)

    DaniWeb IT Discussion Community

  • Loop, Parse, carpet, % y%, c%in%: = A_LoopField if (counter = z) c1: = A_LoopField if (counter > z) c%counter%: = A_LoopField counter+ = 1 counter - = 1

    AutoHotkey Community

  • The Iran Research Corporation also says officials should use the term counter terrorism rather than war on terror.

    CNN Transcript Jul 29, 2008

  • The Rand Research Center said the term counter terrorism is better, saying it would help the perception that they are criminals, not holy warriors.

    CNN Transcript Jul 29, 2008

  • Web to refer to the alternate horizontal open structure of info - exchange, the non-hierarchic network, and reserve the term counter-Net to indicate clandestine illegal and rebellious use of the Web, including actual data-piracy and other forms of leeching off the Net itself.


  • Joyce White arrived at a what she called a counter-march to Fox News host Glenn Beck's rally.

    Inside Al Sharpton's 'Reclaim the Dream' march

  • Starting in the autumn of 2008 NATO began what it calls counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and further into the Gulf of Aden, often in league with comparable deployments by the European Union, with which it shares warships, commanders and "common strategic interests" under the Berlin Plus and other arrangements.

    Printing: U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean

  • They deftly discuss this under the rubric of what they call the counter-chosen whose wrath against the chosen reaches well beyond the dislike that many nations have against others, particularly their neighbors corroborating Freud's wonderful dictum of the narcissism of small differences which habitually creates and revels in dislikes that outsiders do not quite appreciate.

    Andrei Markovits: The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel and the Ordeals of Divine Elections


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.