Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To frustrate or defeat by secret and opposite measures.
  • transitive v. To make or use a countermine against.
  • intransitive v. To make or lay down countermines.
  • n. A tunnel dug to intercept and destroy an enemy's mine.
  • n. A plot to frustrate or defeat an attack.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mine used by defenders to intercept an enemy mine or tunnel.
  • v. To plot opposition; to frustrate the initiatives of another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An underground gallery excavated to intercept and destroy the mining of an enemy.
  • n. A stratagem or plot by which another sratagem or project is defeated.
  • transitive v. To oppose by means of a countermine; to intercept with a countermine.
  • transitive v. To frustrate or counteract by secret measures.
  • intransitive v. To make a countermine or counterplot; to plot secretly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Milit., a mine driven from defense-works by the besieged, counter to a mine driven toward the defense-works by besiegers, the object being to meet and destroy the works of the latter party.
  • n. Hence A secret plan designed to frustrate the plans of an opponent; any antagonistic action or plan.
  • To mine counter or in opposition to; resist by means of a countermine, as a besieging enemy or his works.
  • To counterwork; frustrate by secret and opposite measures.
  • To make a countermine; counterplot; work against one secretly.
  • n. A mine or torpedo placed and exploded in a harbor entrance by an attacking navy to destroy the mines or torpedoes which guard the entrance.

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

  • v. destroy enemy mines with one's own mines
  • n. (military) a tunnel dug to defeat similar activities by the enemy
  • v. destroy property or hinder normal operations

Etymologies

From counter- +‎ mine. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Keep a good lookout for the countermine which is now working against the good advice of his Majesty for mutual toleration.

    Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War, 1609-14

  • Mingle in their follies, and see they cover not deeper designs under the appearance of female levity — if they do mine, do thou countermine.

    The Abbot

  • Post-cold-war subjects have been inserted into the curriculum, such as "countermine operations," to instruct Central American soldiers on clearing the 130,000 mines laid during the wars of the 1980s, and "resource management," a euphemism for teaching Latin officers to keep their hands out of the till.

    Running A 'School For Dictators'

  • The question set a light to a train — and angry suspicions were blazing up one after another, but Amyas silenced them with a countermine.

    Westward Ho!

  • I think such a thing would actually countermine a lot of his message, which was that nature could be approachable by anyone.

    Remembering Steve Irwin | EW.com

  • But Gertrude had no doubt that she was closely watched, and in these circumstances was driven to think how she could best use her wits so as to countermine her father.

    Ayala's Angel

  • The reader will pardon a digression in which so invaluable a secret is communicated, since every gamester will agree how necessary it is to know exactly the play of another, in order to countermine him.

    The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • In the meantime Polysperchon, who was entrusted with the charge of the king, to countermine Cassander, sent a letter to the city, declaring in the name of the king, that he restored them their democracy, and that the whole Athenian people were at liberty to conduct their commonwealth according to their ancient customs and constitutions.

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

  • I had an unpleasant feeling that Mark Wylder was about some mischief — a suspicion that some game of mine and countermine was going on between him and Lake, to which I had no clue whatsoever.

    Wylder's Hand

  • This is a video that was filmed as we were doing mine/countermine operations in the Korabdullah (ph) to try to open the way to Umm Qasr to make it possible for humanitarian supplies and other needed things to go in.

    CNN Transcript Mar 24, 2003

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