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

  • transitive v. To act against with equal force; counteract.
  • transitive v. To compensate for; offset.
  • intransitive v. To act against an often detrimental influence or power.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To have the same value as.
  • v. To counteract, counterbalance or neutralize.
  • v. To compensate for.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Power or value sufficient to obviate any effect; equal weight, strength, or value; equivalent; compensation; requital.
  • transitive v. To act against with equal force, power, or effect; to thwart or overcome by such action; to furnish an equivalent to or for; to counterbalance; to compensate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act against or antagonize with equal force or power; act or avail with equivalent effect against; counteract.
  • Hence To be or furnish an equivalent of or a compensation for; make good; offset.
  • n. Counterbalancing power or weight sufficient to obviate or counteract any effect; equal efficacy or value; compensation; requital.

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

  • v. oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions
  • v. compensate for or counterbalance


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

Middle English countrevaillen, from Old French contrevaloir, contrevail- : contre-, counter- + valoir, to be worth (from Latin valēre, to be strong; see wal- in Indo-European roots).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman countrevaloir ( = Old French contrevaloir), from Latin contrā valēre ("to be worth against").


  • You don't call it countervail, you call it something else.

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  • Good imported witch-hazel, every twig ensorcelled by a nasty charm called the countervail that gives even more gold to his rich friends.

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  • Brazil's economic model, which features a strong government infrastructure to regulate the disruptive effects that free markets can have on social institutions, is a post-Bretton Woods system hybrid that features strategic alliances with France and China that countervail turbulent free market influences that have been the hallmark of more than 80 years of having the US as its major trade partner.

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  • To countervail these concerns, employers are incentivized by tax credits that can make inmates and ex-offenders a lower-cost source of labor.

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  • It emanated from the need to countervail US public diplomacy that caused Dilma to suggest Washington has been engaging in a "disguised devaluation" of the dollar following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's charge that Beijing is keeping its yuan to dollar exchange rate artificially low, which does help the earnings of American companies who manufacture in and buy goods from China.

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  • It set the foundation for a principle of “containment”—the doctrine that American strength should firmly countervail all points of Soviet expansion.

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  • It is a duplicitous strategy because on the one hand she says she wants to restore the franchise to the voters from MI/FL, but on the other hand she is willing to countervail the franchise of all the other states.

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  • Obama is busy building a winning majority for wide future citizen support to countervail all that was set in motion by the Reagan Revolution, the power of which led to Bill Clinton, at the least, co-oping republican themes during his presidency, and later embracing GHWB, and which later [partly because of Bill's Oval Office behavior] allowed GWB to win in 2000 and bring the horrors we now live with from GWB/Cheney.

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  • He is gathering and consolidating the power of the masses to countervail against the entrenched powers, and the establishment's game.

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  • There are armed men enow to countervail all your efforts at escape.

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  • To act against with equal force; counteract.

    v. To compensate for; offset.

    v. To act against an often detrimental influence or power

    August 31, 2013