Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To sign (a previously signed document), as for authentication.
  • n. A second or confirming signature, as on a previously signed document. Also called countersignature.
  • n. A sign or signal to be given to a sentry in order to obtain passage; a password.
  • n. A secret sign or signal given in answer to another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a second signature added to a document to affirm the validity of the signature of the first person
  • v. to add a second signature to a document, affirming the validity of the signature of another person

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To sign on the opposite side of (an instrument or writing); hence, to sign in addition to the signature of a principal or superior, in order to attest the authenticity of a writing.
  • adj. The signature of a secretary or other officer to a writing signed by a principal or superior, to attest its authenticity.
  • adj. A private signal, word, or phrase, which must be given in order to pass a sentry; a watchword.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sign opposite to another signature; sign additionally; superadd one's signature to by way of authentication, attestation, or confirmation: as, charters signed by a king are countersigned by a secretary.
  • Figuratively, to attest in any way; confirm; corroborate.
  • n. A private signal, in the form of a word, phrase, or number, given to soldiers on guard, with orders to let no one pass unless he first gives that sign; a military watchword.
  • n. The signature of a secretary or other subordinate officer to a writing signed by the principal or superior, to attest its authenticity; a counter-signature.

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

  • v. add one's signature to after another's to attest authenticity
  • n. a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group
  • n. a second confirming signature endorsing a document already signed

Etymologies

counter- +‎ sign (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Upon their approach to the bridge, the challenge, and interchange of sign and countersign, which is usual on such occasions, took place in due form; and as Rudolph’s party filed off one after another into the castle, he commanded them to wake their companions, with whom he intended to renew the patrol, and at the same time to send a relief to Arthur Philipson, whose watch on the bridge was now ended.

    Anne of Geierstein

  • Ms. KEEPSEAGLE: How they treated us was every time my husband, George, needed to get some money to do repairs, he had to drive, like, 17 miles to the FSA office, get their approval, they would countersign the check.

    USDA Awards Native Americans Millions In Discrimination Suit

  • The dancing and singing function primarily as a decoy from the main event happening in this inner sanctum; only we, the viewers, are ushered in to witness the underbelly, to glimpse the politics taking place in the dark, which countersign the frivolities in the flashing sunlight outside.

    BREAKFAST WITH SOCRATES

  • "We know, Brother, by your sign and by your countersign that you are indeed one of us," said McGinty.

    Chennai

  • To countersign and affix the seal of state to all commissions required by law to be issued by the Governor.

    The Court: Roland Burris is Senator - No Signature Required!

  • But as I mentioned in a previous column, and in a so far unanswered email to Smith, the law actually requires White "to countersign and affix the seal of state to all commissions required by law to be issued by the Governor," and to register the appointment.

    Jeff Norman: Harry Reid: The Most Corrupt of the Corrupt?

  • If that were the case, Secretary White might justifiably (and lawfully) refuse to countersign the certificate on ethical grounds based on the manifest impropriety of Blago's action.

    Illinois Sec. of State Refuses To Approve Burris Appointment, But Admits He Really Can't Stop It

  • Failing that, it is also possible that Burris would have no legal standing in mandamus to compel White to countersign the appointment certificate; because the duty to do so -- if it really is a ministerial duty -- is not owed to Burris himself, but to Blago as the Governor or to the Clerk of the Senate rather than the appointee.

    Illinois Sec. of State Refuses To Approve Burris Appointment, But Admits He Really Can't Stop It

  • Rate It ias announced that Franken has asked the MN Supremes to affirm the district court decision, declare that Franken is entitled to a certificate of election; that judgment be entered immediately and that the Repub Gov Pawlenty & Dem SoS Ritchie be ordered to perform their 'ministerial duty' to prepare, countersign and deliver the certificate of election promptly to the sec. of the US Senate.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Franken Replies to Coleman's MN Supremes Appeal

  • If the Minnesota Supreme Court upholds the three-judge panel, it should order Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to perform their "ministerial duty" to prepare, countersign and deliver the certificate of election promptly to the secretary of the U.S. Senate.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: MN Supremes Hear Oral Argument on Coleman Appeal

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