Definition of countervail in English:



[with object]usually as adjective countervailing
  • Offset the effect of (something) by countering it with something of equal force.

    ‘the dominance of the party was mediated by a number of countervailing factors’
    • ‘Blame the fact that families don't sit down to dinner together anymore - at least not often enough to countervail the influence of toxic culture.’
    • ‘Yet this margin loss was countervailed by cost cutting.’
    • ‘The prospects for improving labor standards at the domestic level are constrained by two countervailing market forces.’
    • ‘Even the broadest discretion is constrained by the need for there to be countervailing circumstances justifying interference with human rights.’
    • ‘But is there not a time when we have to admit, in all intellectual honesty, that our positions have been overwhelmed by countervailing data?’
    • ‘Otherwise the actions designed to exert countervailing pressure could result in political disaster.’
    • ‘But that's the point; there will always be countervailing arguments.’
    • ‘Any particular discretionary matter may be subject to countervailing matters of equal or greater weight.’
    • ‘But without countervailing efforts by policymakers, the ebb of recession can sink many boats as well.’
    • ‘However, there is also countervailing evidence to indicate that when concentration is extreme, innovation is squelched.’
    • ‘There are Web sites that dispense countervailing strategies.’
    • ‘When it is, one must look to international law for countervailing principles, and to politics, above all, for a way through.’
    • ‘But we are concerned because there is a strong presidency without countervailing institutions.’
    • ‘Burke, particularly in his criticism of the French Revolution, evoked tradition and the mystique of history to countervail any present generation's fascination with newness and change.’
    • ‘This was introduced about seven years ago, after some industries insisted on protection against imports to countervail the sales tax being paid on domestic products.’
    • ‘And by bringing lots of regular people together, we can actually countervail the influence that big corporations have on American politics.’
    • ‘It may be that, among girls, a desire to achieve academic goals countervails motivations to use drugs.’
    • ‘Integrity in promise-keeping, at times, confronts countervailing considerations of human welfare.’
    • ‘But the deeper one looks, the more countervailing stories one finds, and before long the past is as muddy as the present.’
    • ‘As its memorandum shows, the Commission has to consider and balance in many cases the important but countervailing freedoms of privacy and of expression.’
    counteract, offset, counterbalance, balance, balance out, counterpoise, compensate for, make up for
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘be equivalent to in value’): from Anglo-Norman French contrevaloir, from Latin contra valere ‘be of worth against’.