Main definitions of counter in English

: counter1counter2counter3

counter1

noun

  • 1A long flat-topped fixture in a store or bank across which business is conducted with customers.

    • ‘I released a book into the wild, and it's on the counter at our new shop.’
    • ‘Mrs. Wallace stands at the counter of her pie shop.’
    • ‘I even love queuing at counters during the Christmas shopping frenzy and falling flat on my backside in the slippery snow.’
    • ‘Having eaten these we were hard pressed to ignore the shop counter as we departed.’
    • ‘Every time, a customer pushes open the glass door of a supermarket, or steps up to the wooden counter of a grocery shop, there is a chance for the seller to make big bucks.’
    • ‘One morning I went to the shop and a young girl served me at the counter.’
    • ‘Some supporters are also signing petitions displayed on the counters of shops and other businesses throughout the city centre.’
    • ‘The cinema includes digital photographic services, cafe, refreshment counters, and decor that reflects the history and glamour of the art of film-making.’
    • ‘But after more than three years in operation, the number of bags crossing shop counters - while still a fraction of the number used a few years ago - is creeping up.’
    • ‘They also appreciate public support for collection boxes on many shop counters around the town.’
    • ‘Shop assistants who no longer needed to serve behind counters would be available to circulate and answer questions about the price, size and quality of goods.’
    • ‘While you go around various car accessories shop stalls and insurance counters, children'll have fun at painting and quiz contests.’
    • ‘He told us that it had all begun when he used magnetic ink to encode his bank account number on the bottom line of a wad of blank deposit slips that banks provide at their counters.’
    • ‘The couple now hope to travel, read and relax away from the shop counter and the routine of a small business.’
    • ‘You can avoid these lines by not having anything that has to be checked or if you do not have to conduct any business at the ticket counter.’
    • ‘Boyd had a daring, flamboyant style, and often jumped over bank counters in his lightning quick hold-ups.’
    • ‘The level of business at post office counters is declining rapidly.’
    • ‘The shops would have deli counters, which offer high profit margins, serving hot food.’
    • ‘I'm the kind of person who gets kept waiting at counters in shops.’
    • ‘Relatively little euro currency will be passed over bank counters, retail experts believe.’
    1. 1.1US A long flat-topped structure used for serving food and drinks in a cafeteria or bar.
      • ‘You name what you want, buy the coupons, and then join the line before the serving counters.’
      • ‘Wendy pulled me out of my seat and dragged me, spluttering helplessly, towards the food counter.’
      • ‘Customers order at the counter, but the food is prepared to order.’
      • ‘The canteen has both a hot and cold food counter so anything from salads to beef stroganoff are on offer.’
      • ‘The food court had a stripped down version of Biggy's Burger Barn, our favorite fast food slop house, as well as a panorama of ethnic fast food counters.’
      • ‘So whilst I start to make a record of my experiments I thought this would be an ideal way to share them with young couples who have probably never been taught how to cook the basics and probably eat from the fast food counters.’
      • ‘There are several different counters for food and they offer many options of daily special.’
      • ‘I drove to one of our favorite restaurants, placed the order, and stood at the counter drinking iced tea while I waited.’
      • ‘The usual serving counters were not being used but the inactive buffet tables were now active.’
      • ‘He got behind the serving counters and dished up turkey and mashed potatoes to the boys and he was just in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘It's not a gourmet feast, but it's cheap and you don't have to fetch the food yourself from a counter.’
      • ‘An adult man plays guitar and sings in the background, while people order drinks from the faux counter in back.’
      • ‘She was sitting quietly at the dingy linoleum counter drinking a glass of orange juice, the pale morning sun dancing prettily on her silky, long black hair.’
      • ‘You can often find more fat at the salad bar than you can at the fast food counter, Stumbo says.’
      • ‘The revamp focused on areas of excellence such as the butchery department, fresh meat and fish department, the fruit and vegetable area as well as the deli food counter.’
      • ‘After a year, a vacancy came up at the food service counter.’
      • ‘For instance, there will be seven food counters featuring a range of delicacies from raagi mudde and puliyogare to chaat and jolada roti.’
      • ‘The food counter was stupefying in size and anything you'd possibly be inclined to have for breakfast was on show.’
      • ‘Maura laughed to herself silently as she made her way over to the serving counter, setting her plate down and pulling out a stool to sit on.’
      • ‘We continued to wrestle all the way over to the food court counter.’
    2. 1.2North American A countertop.
      • ‘Clearing the counters of food items and shoving dishes into the sink, I ran a wet cloth over the various surfaces to remove crumbs and spills.’
      • ‘Just as I began searching on the counter for my keys Nick walked into the kitchen in just a pair of sweatpants, and said in a chipper tone.’
      • ‘Her mother slammed the plates down on the countertop, wondrously not breaking them but making a mess as Megan's uneaten food spilled on the counter.’
      • ‘It wasn't enough to make her forget those particular folders on the counter before she left, however.’
      • ‘Amanda started wiping the counter with a damp rag.’
      • ‘She set the food out on the counter in a straight line.’
      • ‘Katrina tossed her bag in it, and grabbed a pen off the kitchen counter.’
      • ‘Chaz grabbed a stool and put his food on the counter.’
      • ‘Coming back to the real world, she started washing off the counters and tables in the cafe before the store officially opened for the day.’
      • ‘Kristen said sadly putting her drink on the counter.’
      • ‘I set my drink on the counter, it was already half empty.’
      worktop, work surface, worktable, table, bench, buffet, top, horizontal surface
      View synonyms
  • 2An apparatus used for counting.

    ‘the counter tells you how many pictures you have taken’
    • ‘Commerce has stated that it doesn't intend to make any money from the fee-free coin counters, which customers and non-customers are invited to use.’
    • ‘The error counter is responsive to input signals and the feedback signals for generating error signals.’
    • ‘So I installed a hit counter to see what was going on.’
    • ‘So I went in with a calorie counter to analyze the last three day's meals.’
    • ‘For example, Geiger - Mueller counters, the familiar clicking boxes seen in the movies, were first sold in the 1930s.’
    • ‘When the voter wishes to make no further changes, he or she pulls a large lever, which registers the votes on a counter located at the back of the machine.’
    • ‘My counter for this website records that the site has just received its ten thousandth visitor.’
    • ‘All microswitches and counters were controlled by a central power source connected to a digital timer set to turn on one hour after sunset and turn off one hour before sunrise.’
    • ‘Maybe I had picked up the wrong gadget, and it was a calorie counter, primed to record a Big Mac and fries.’
    • ‘The novelty of the electronic counter at the [Overbridge] traffic signal is yet to wear off, and the constables posted at the busy junction seem to be a more relaxed lot these days.’
    • ‘The receiver simply synchronizes its counter to the value transmitted by the remote, and opens the garage door.’
    • ‘My hit counter started bleeding in the thousands following the election but seems to have recovered somewhat.’
    • ‘Pennies are a completely useless coin, not able to be used in vending machines, toll roads and perhaps not least importantly, Las Vegas coin counters.’
    • ‘Really, I've never built anything much more computationally complicated than a counter of single-photons.’
    • ‘Some sort of centrifugal device that only triggered the counter if it was activated by the centrifugal force of the drum turning.’
    • ‘It is suitable for a range of applications including timers, controllers, counters, test equipment or systems requiring an electronic display.’
    • ‘In 1912, George Julius converted his invented mechanical vote counter into a mechanical totalisator.’
    1. 2.1 A person who counts something, for example votes in an election.
      • ‘‘What you're looking at here are the exit poll counters,’ says Quest.’
      • ‘They claim vote counters used arbitrary standards in counting ballots.’
      • ‘Also, if the ballot counters can't figure out who voted for who, like last time, having the pre-election polls on your side makes it easier for you to steal the election.’
      • ‘It could even make things worse, by adding more translation layers between the voters and the vote counters and preventing recounts.’
      • ‘Independent proxy counters must verify votes, and each side can challenge.’
      • ‘In particular, it scales well as the number of available ballot counters is proportional to the number of voters.’
      • ‘Hoppe said that vote counters decided to invalidate approximately 40 ballots, mostly due to multiple check marks.’
      • ‘And vote counters should be nonpartisan public servants, not secretive corporations or party hacks.’
      • ‘You can see that the counters are examining these votes very carefully, and I must tell you that they look very tired to me, poor people sitting there.’
      • ‘Members of the election committee, ballot counters and voting station officials have all been trained on their individual functions and are prepared for the election.’
      • ‘And tensions ran high as well, forcing a county judge there to warn vote counters and observers to be more civil toward each other.’
      • ‘It was only a few hours after the general election results that the counters were again sifting through ballot papers.’
      • ‘The counters are casting votes, not counting votes.’
      • ‘A team of 50 counters spent more than six hours checking and totalling the votes, as the candidates and their supporters looked on, while keeping an eye on the national election coverage.’
      • ‘I voted today, and I would bet money that I am the only one in this county who voted for him; the vote counters probably think it was a joke ballot.’
      • ‘Vote counters in Florida are racing against time to complete a hand recount that could decide who is the next US president.’
      • ‘At the other end, you get computers to help the counters to count the votes.’
      • ‘With the touchscreen machines, however, the very counters of the votes can steal at will - and seem to be doing it widely.’
      • ‘Is he suggesting that, in some way, the vote counters have got it wrong?’
    2. 2.2Physics An apparatus used for counting individual ionizing particles or events.
      • ‘The ferrioxalate actinometer is a photon counter and is sensitive to wavelengths less than 450 nm.’
      • ‘The event is recognized as a macroscopic discontinuity in the counter.’
      • ‘The microwave frequency was monitored with a frequency counter.’
      • ‘In exchange for some frequency counters and plug-in modules for oscilloscopes, they got the power supply.’
      • ‘One was a particle counter installed on the second layer of the Whipple shield protecting the spacecraft's main body.’
      • ‘A datalogger with an event counter can be used to record the readings.’
      • ‘The peaks themselves are detected by starting a counter at the first sample in the rectified waveform which is above the first threshold value.’
      • ‘Today, a variety of instruments are in use for determining speed including electromagnetic sensors and engine revolution counters.’
      • ‘The status of these sensors is monitored by a counter that feeds information to a data logger.’
      • ‘A simple event counter can check how frequently a pump comes on.’
      • ‘The system also provides for designating the general purpose counters to monitor selected events in programs.’
      • ‘A counter in the clock tracks the time it takes for most of the atoms to make the shift.’
  • 3A small disk used as a place marker or for keeping the score in board games.

    • ‘The game, played with counters and dice, is already proving a big hit - so much so that more copies are being produced to be distributed next year.’
    • ‘Those work quite well as all sorts of counters and tokens.’
    • ‘Most board games, especially war games, use cardboard counters or chits.’
    • ‘Although chess, draughts, dice and gambling were forbidden, counters and dice were also found during the dig.’
    • ‘It was used for making pendants, finger rings, playing counters, dice and even spindle whorls.’
    • ‘Players land ships at anchorages and venture inland in search of buried treasure by putting counters on numbered squares after throwing dice.’
    • ‘According to the rules you need nothing more than your brain and a pack of cards, so it's a lot cheaper than the usual awful party games that cost £29.99 for a box, three dice and six counters.’
    token, chip, disc, jetton
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A token representing a coin.
      • ‘The name merels comes from the low Latin word merrelus, meaning a ‘token, counter or coin’.’

Phrases

  • behind the counter

    • Serving in a store or bank.

      ‘ask the young man behind the counter’
      • ‘Imagine our surprise then when we detected a strong Tralee accent behind the counter.’
      • ‘Marian has seen huge changes in the post office in her years behind the counter.’
      • ‘They have two men working behind the counter; no matter what day of the week or time of day I go in, always the same two men.’
      • ‘As a child and teenager, she says, she spent a good deal of time behind the counter of Wilfrid's pharmacy.’
      • ‘You could wave a wad of twenties at the girls behind the counter but it would do no good for they have no facility to take cash.’
      • ‘The people behind the counter told us the shop had been there for one month.’
      • ‘Frustration is written all over the face of the man behind the counter.’
      • ‘[Three,] A friend of the folks in the flat below who works behind the counter at a clothing store.’
      • ‘There were a couple of customers, and only one person[bloke] behind the counter, and the phone was ringing off the hook.’
      • ‘The girl behind the counter in the shop was shutting up for the long afternoon lull.’
      • ‘We left the gallery and told the guy behind the counter how much we liked it and asked, are you the artist?’
      • ‘They have witnessed many changes in the grocery trade during their time behind the counter.’
      • ‘He thought nothing of the long hours behind the counter simply because he knew he was doing it for them.’
      • ‘There were 2 women stood chatting to each other behind the counter as I approached to pay.’
      • ‘A small, thin woman with a lined faced and dyed brown hair, also about sixty, stays behind the counter.’
      • ‘I told my friend Catherine behind the counter that I wanted to browse the magazines.’
      • ‘In Horns the Baker, Rose Mulhulland, who works behind the counter, said she did not believe it was a good idea.’
      • ‘The screaming could be heard for miles, as could my laughter, and the laughter of the guys behind the counter.’
      • ‘He was such a regular of the Flavas fried chicken shop that he greeted the confused man behind the counter like an old friend.’
      • ‘When not at the wheel of a racing car, Westley Barber is often found behind the counter of a fish and chip shop.’
      • ‘Unlike Western fast food joints, there just one spotty teen behind the counter.’
  • over the counter

    • 1By ordinary retail purchase, with no need for a prescription or license.

      [as adjective] ‘over-the-counter medicines’
      • ‘A lot of people buy complementary medicines over the counter because they find they have a beneficial effect.’
      • ‘Drug companies have been switching successful prescription drugs over the counter for years.’
      • ‘When should a drug be sold over the counter instead of by prescription only?’
      • ‘When purchasing goods over the counter there are certain rules and protocols to be aware of, but as yet no rules of engagement have been established online.’
      • ‘Well, now they have just been approved by the FDA to be purchased over the counter so that someone can have one at home.’
      • ‘Coming up, they are common cold medicines that anyone can buy over the counter.’
      • ‘Asking pharmacists to record details of over the counter purchases is anything but practical.’
      • ‘Lotions and bath salts such as Aveeno bath can be purchased over the counter.’
      • ‘They are advertised, marketed, and sold on the Internet, as well as over the counter in ordinary retail shops.’
      • ‘More than one in 10 children are at risk of having an adverse reaction to drugs bought over the counter, according to new research.’
      • ‘Since then, many forms of birth control have become widely available by prescription and over the counter.’
      • ‘We also collected data on over the counter medications purchased and visits made to private practitioners.’
      • ‘Drugs that will improve cognition in healthy people are in the pipeline, but it could be years before you can buy them over the counter.’
      • ‘Sudafed is also available over the counter, and other prescription products have made the switch as well.’
      • ‘Patients derive enough benefit from over the counter cough medicines to purchase them in the first place and to keep returning for more.’
      • ‘Current prescription and over the counter drugs were recorded from containers at the participants' homes.’
      • ‘There are several oral antihistamine medications available over the counter or on prescription.’
      • ‘The drug became popular in Germany and because of the lack of acute toxicity it became available over the counter without prescription.’
      • ‘Another reason may be that drugs in the United States are available only on prescription or over the counter.’
      • ‘Is there any allergy medicine I can buy over the counter that won't affect my blood pressure or my prostate?’
      1. 1.1(of share transactions) taking place outside the stock exchange system.
        • ‘After numerous downgradings, it now trades over the counter for a nickel a share.’
        • ‘The company's stock is not listed on any stock exchange, but it is traded over the counter.’
  • under the counter (or table)

    • (with reference to goods bought or sold) surreptitiously and typically illegally.

      ‘certain labs have been peddling this drug under the counter’
      [as adjective] ‘an under-the-counter deal’
      • ‘Children in our country are exposed to many more sexual images in television ads - especially those selling beer - than in raunchy magazines sold under the counter.’
      • ‘That is why all sorts of deals are going on under the table and is the second reason why fathers are not named.’
      • ‘It's all above board, like, all legit, no under the counter chuff.’
      • ‘The trouble now is that black supermarket, selling to all with cash under the table.’
      • ‘It was compared to a donkey's tail, frowned on as a symbol of Western decadence and sold only under the counter.’
      • ‘The Chinatown store that sold them under the table recently went out of business.’
      • ‘Cigarettes would be sold only under the counter if plans being considered by Scottish ministers are implemented.’
      • ‘The decoder kit was available under the counter at all the hippest book stores, cafés, and nightclubs.’
      • ‘‘Well anything you can do for us over the counter, or under the counter would be great,’ appealed Paddy Bracken.’
      • ‘There is also a huge market for smuggled cigarettes with many legitimate retailers selling them under the counter.’
      • ‘However, they are now being sold under the counter from street stalls in the city.’
      • ‘There is so much underhanded stuff, people are being paid off under the table.’

Origin

Middle English ( counter): from Old French conteor, from medieval Latin computatorium, from Latin computare (see compute).

Pronunciation:

counter

/ˈkoun(t)ər/

Main definitions of counter in English

: counter1counter2counter3

counter2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Speak or act in opposition to.

    ‘the second argument is more difficult to counter’
    • ‘While countering these incentives is difficult, the authors note that public education and other initiatives have helped to dramatically reduce the incidence of smoking in recent decades.’
    • ‘A losing side sometimes falls into a trap where they tend to counter the opposition instead of dictating the game.’
    • ‘The party's caucus had held the closed-door meeting to discuss ways to counter the opposition lawmakers' plans.’
    • ‘It will be difficult to counter their political and economic hegemony!’
    • ‘And we in the opposition must counter their vision and offer competing images of the future of the country.’
    • ‘So perverse, in fact, that it could only be regarded as a deliberate attempt to counter the opposite position.’
    • ‘Perry answers that ideology must be countered with opposing ideology.’
    • ‘He made the remarks in a bid to counter the opposition's doubts that the use of the money has not been transparent, the report said.’
    • ‘The idea is to keep the Prime Minister updated so that he is in a position to counter all possible queries from the opposition benches, informed sources said.’
    • ‘The possibility of a five-fold increase in the projected cost came after big business insisted it move to counter public opposition.’
    • ‘In order to counter any possible opposition, the government is attacking democratic rights and preparing a new police state.’
    • ‘It is indeed difficult to counter such cornering arguments.’
    • ‘What was interesting about that phenomenon was how incredibly difficult it was to counter the prevailing wisdom of the times.’
    • ‘This means countering denialism as well.’
    • ‘‘We know it's not just about integration or sitting in the same classrooms with whites,’ Sellers counters.’
    • ‘The primary objective going into a replay is to have learned enough to counter the opposition's strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses.’
    • ‘Any inputs by the pilot at launch create a dampening effect in the opposite direction to counter the excess pitch-rate change.’
    • ‘The opposition rally sought to counter that impression, and organisers said they expected about 150,000 people to turn out.’
    • ‘European and Arab opposition may be countered by possible strong support from Russia.’
    • ‘Nothing can help hatred unless it is countered by the opposite.’
    • ‘They speak about self-reliance and countering the invasion of a global economy by humble movement like the one involving the manufacture of toilet soap.’
    • ‘She has been designing and planning Naik's campaign material, ensuring that he is up-to-date on facts and figures to counter the opposition.’
    1. 1.1[no object] Respond to hostile speech or action.
      ‘“What would you like me to do about it?” she countered’
      • ‘This was the only airspeed that provided a predictable and constant level of yaw that I could counter with full rudder.’
      • ‘Some may argue that flow and power don't go together, but I'd counter with that being a fallacy of the modern Big Move surf culture.’
      • ‘There was nothing you could say that she couldn't counter with a logical thought or a perfect comeback.’
      • ‘That day, however, he didn't counter with some snappy nickname of his own.’
      • ‘The protesters counter with dinosaurs singing songs and a hoe-down.’
      • ‘He steadied his swaying body and tried to counter with a lunge at Caleb.’
      • ‘Instead of competing with these fantasies, I counter with culinary theatrics from my surreal bag of tricks.’
      • ‘To keep my idea alive, I need to counter with fixed targets of high value, so here's one, and here's another.’
      • ‘Supporters counter with the charge that tuition from transit users already partially funds parking services on campus.’
      • ‘Then the other party would counter with an initiative of its own, no less complex and no more electorally penetrative.’
      • ‘All he could do was quickly materialize his own sword to counter with.’
      • ‘The ex-managers counter with allegations of financial irregularities pointing out that he still lives in his old apartment with four other people.’
      • ‘Maybe not, but then they might reasonably counter with the question: is the Parthenon strictly necessary?’
      • ‘Sly smirk returning, she countered readily, ‘It would be a pleasure, Serpent.’’
      • ‘Instead of giving you the three-day workweek you asked for, your boss might counter with a four-day week.’
      • ‘If it were just on private television, then I'd say, great, the best way to fight abuse of the freedom of speech, is to counter with better speech.’
      • ‘Those of us who have fought for Inuit rights would counter with this: Can you eat your degrees when you are starving?’
      • ‘I counter with my stories of the hunting prowess of spiders and ants.’
      • ‘I felt I had nothing to counter with - that is, until I had the 118 experience.’
      • ‘They're very hard to counter with just high technology alone.’
      • ‘One must be able to withstand both the physical and mental attacks directed towards them, and be able to counter with their own attacks.’
      parry, hit back at, answer, respond to, retort to, contradict, negate
      ward off, fend off, stave off, deflect, rebuff, rebut, repel, repulse, hold at bay
      combat, fight, attack, tackle, confront, stand up to, put up a fight against, oppose, resist, dispute, argue against
      counteract
      shoot full of holes, blow sky high
      gainsay
      controvert, confute, negative
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Boxing [no object] Give a return blow while parrying.
      ‘he countered with a left hook’
      • ‘Booker hit a dropkick, and Flair countered with a low blow.’
      • ‘She diverted the move and countered with an uppercut that he avoided by tucking his chin in.’
      • ‘He moved with impressive grace and skill, angling away from Hernandez's on rushes and countering effectively with uppercuts, straight right hands, and left hooks.’
      • ‘Javion reflected the blow effortlessly, and countered with a swift left hand punch.’
      • ‘You had one fighter aggressive and moving forward and the other fighter countering effectively but not throwing as many punches.’
      • ‘He blocked it and countered, but that blow was also obstructed.’
      • ‘Con stayed on the defensive, blocking and parrying, and occasionally countering when he thought there was an opening.’
      • ‘Sometimes I might need to throw to make my opponent commit and counter off his punch.’
      • ‘I blocked that, and countered with a blow to the ribs.’

adverb

counter to
  • In the opposite direction to or in conflict with.

    ‘some actions by the authorities ran counter to the call for leniency’
    • ‘We conclude that the proposed East of Otley development is ill-conceived, runs counter to national planning policy and will fail to deliver the benefits claimed.’
    • ‘His analysis turned up another unexpected finding that also runs counter to the direction of the field.’
    • ‘However, the direction of these trade-price effects generally ran counter to our expectations.’
    • ‘But even if we accept this line of reasoning, it does not cover the cases where there is no serious probability that the choice of an action which went counter to the rule would become generally known.’
    • ‘Further, in several instances responses actually ran counter to the direction of selection.’
    • ‘Some members of the Board were reluctant to go counter to the policy direction of the Administration, and preferred negotiation, given that the Administration also deserved a voice in stabilization policy.’
    • ‘So that sort of runs counter to what you're saying, doesn't it?’
    • ‘Now the benefits of such spontaneous wireless networks are obvious, but hacking one together isn't easy, as it runs counter to how networks are put together.’
    • ‘Our experience runs counter to that so we're happy to spend a little cash and to expend a good deal of energy doctoring our home to secure the best possible deal when we put the place on the market.’
    • ‘Secondly it runs counter to all observation to assume that a child is incapable of independent religious belief.’
    • ‘The el zar or Force of Estrangement (F.O.E.) is counter juxtaposed to the true God, the God of oneness.’
    • ‘Such a picture of Julian, however, runs counter to what Julian herself says.’
    • ‘We discussed the merits of ‘Vote for Me’, which I think is hard to beat for directness, but she felt it ran counter to the personal development ethos of the school.’
    • ‘This public policy stand runs counter to what today's Texans say they want.’
    • ‘The wide rear haunches of the car create a muscular stance further emphasised by the rear window whose shape runs counter to that of most cars on the road in being distinctly tapered from top to bottom.’
    • ‘North Korea's attitude obviously runs counter to its commitment made in the joint statement.’
    • ‘It also runs counter to the evidence of the nature of the relationship between Hitler and Himmler, who does not appear to have been a man likely to have practised a deception of this kind on his Fuhrer.’
    • ‘The move to create an unofficial consul runs counter to Labour election campaign attacks on Nationalists for wanting to spend money on Scottish representation abroad.’
    • ‘Citizens of a nation choosing their own system of government runs counter to the option of imposing our values on others.’
    • ‘There is no authority on the implied licence argument and it may be criticised that it runs counter to the guidance of the House of Lords in the case of Sunningwell that a tolerated use may be as of right.’
    against, in opposition to, contrary to, at variance with, in defiance of, in contravention of, contrarily, contrariwise, conversely
    against the tide, in the opposite direction, in the reverse direction, in the wrong direction
    View synonyms

adjective

  • Responding to something of the same kind, especially in opposition.

    See also counter-
    • ‘‘Bravenet’ seems to have come back to life so I have restored the hit counter here.’
    • ‘They have not given us any counter argument to support their concerns.’
    • ‘But the compelling counter argument is that, although apparently arcane, it does reflect the reality at that given point in time.’
    • ‘The counter argument, from the disobeyer's point of view, is that the social contract is a fiction as there is no historical evidence of any such agreement ever being entered into.’
    • ‘If people disagree with them, they should attack with counter arguments, not with suppression.’
    • ‘There is room for counter argument here, to be sure.’
    • ‘Such views are clearly deeply held, but we feel that there are strong counter arguments.’
    • ‘This raises considerable problems for counter insurgent strategy.’
    • ‘This result is, of course, counter intuitive. But there are a bunch of others as well.’
    • ‘There are counter arguments that can be made on the side of the traditional 2-way clustered architectures.’
    • ‘The next counter argument is linked to deep paranoia about the authorities' competence and good intentions.’
    • ‘The counter arguments you've made in response to his wish you withdraw the ads are good ones, both legally and ethically.’
    • ‘A counter argument for this would be ‘Well, if they can do it to someone else, surely we can do it to them.’’
    • ‘[JIM LOBE:] I think when they're in opposition they create a counter government in hopes of becoming the next government.’
    • ‘At the same time, there are counter forces and arguments favoring decentralization of power.’
    • ‘Once you know why it's a no-go, you can launch a thought-out counter argument explaining why you can handle a dog.’
    • ‘We were flying a range of different missions - defensive counter air, close air support, battlefield interdiction and strike.’
    • ‘However, one of his counter arguments states that trucks are often loaded at sites where there are no devices to measure the load.’
    • ‘All of this counter argument is simply ignored here.’
    • ‘But, goes the counter argument, with so much porn available online now, mobility isn't such a critical advantage anymore.’
    • ‘There are, however, juicy counter arguments to the highest value use theory, the most obvious being that we can't all grow grapes.’
    • ‘There are counter arguments, of course, but I don't think one can justify dismissing the comparisons with other countries as easily as he does.’
    • ‘One option may be to launch a counter bid for Toll.’
    • ‘There is unquestionably some truth in that counter argument, which isn't voiced only by hawkers of Hollywood movies and TV shows.’
    • ‘Within this context, an alliance may also face limits due to the leverage of a counter alliance or an opposing state.’
    opposing, opposed, opposite, contrary, adverse, conflicting, contradictory, contrasting, obverse, different, differing
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1[usually in singular] A thing that opposes or prevents something else.

    ‘the stimulus to employers' organization was partly a counter to growing union power’
    • ‘We can expect an increase in enemy countermobility operations as a counter to our superiority in information and weapons technology.’
    • ‘It's full of good sense and a good counter to some of the sappy parenting advice that is out there all over the place.’
    • ‘The poem ends on a lovely reduced, calm note, a counter to the politicised madness of the 1960s.’
    • ‘Stanhope sees his openness as a counter to society's hypocrisy about such subjects.’
    • ‘The new book is in itself a counter to that outburst.’
    • ‘Air America was formed specifically to be a counter to what many Liberals view as an overwhelming bias towards the Right in talk radio.’
    • ‘In modern drama there is no such thing as the rational counter to wildfire popular beliefs.’
    • ‘These imagined and real mothers provide an important counter to the negative images of black womanhood circulated in other media.’
    • ‘The ultimate counter to the conservative movement is a progressive movement.’
    • ‘The cheese was bright and a good counter to the deep character of the beets.’
    • ‘Learning this transforms a seemingly sorry life into one warmed by the kindness of strangers whose acts of altruism Mary sees as a counter to the teeming cruelties of the world, a reason to believe.’
    • ‘Mr. Schaan also seems to believe that invoking the immeasurable is a sufficient counter to the concrete.’
    • ‘Jans decided to begin staging the travel shows as a counter to dull presentations he'd witnessed.’
    • ‘Here, they proclaimed, was the incarnation of the ideal of beauty who would provide a healthy counter to those skeletal harridans who were terrorising young girls towards a bony grave.’
    • ‘Syafi'i said he expected his team would make a viable counter to foreign efforts in bringing peace to Aceh.’
    • ‘The result is warm, humane and a compelling counter to the callous creed of Social Darwinists.’
    • ‘The aim is to have a page full of items which will present a modest counter to the noise that will come from the Stoppers in London.’
    • ‘That quote, by the way, provides the best counter to outsourcing anxiety.’
    • ‘The counter to this is that anything that hurts the other person is not desirable.’
    • ‘Scott Burgess has offered a counter to this column on depletion and it can be found here.’
    • ‘Saturday's demonstration of moderate Muslims was presented as a peaceful counter to last week's aggressive gathering.’
    1. 1.1 An answer to an argument or criticism.
      ‘he anticipates an objection and plans his counter’
    2. 1.2Boxing A blow given while parrying; a counterpunch.
      • ‘The right hook, as a counter or a lead, continued to be Cauthen's best weapon aside from dancing.’
      • ‘Andi, being no fool at boxing, blocked the counter, and then went in for another blow, pulling back with her left arm.’
      • ‘The counter was brought in a sideways blow to the neck, that which Hyman just barely dodged by skipping back.’
      • ‘It is later revealed that a short, chopping right hand counter by Clay catches Liston squarely.’
      • ‘He was open to a counter and Chi connected with a great right to the body and a big left uppercut that sent Brodie down to the canvas and looking in pain.’
      • ‘His other concern is that if Lewis throws the lazy jab which he is prone to doing, a Tyson right hand counter could end matters there and then.’
  • 2The curved part of the stern of a ship projecting aft above the waterline.

  • 3Printing
    The white space enclosed by a letter such as O or c.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French contre, from Latin contra against or directly from counter-.

Pronunciation:

counter

/ˈkoun(t)ər/

Main definitions of counter in English

: counter1counter2counter3

counter3

noun

  • The back part of a shoe or boot, enclosing the heel.

    • ‘Also, make an effort to look for shoes with adequate heel counters since they'll help you maintain good heel position when the shoe contacts the ground.’
    • ‘Rossignol's X6 boot now sports an upper cuff and heel counter and has the look of a suede hiking boot.’
    • ‘Boots are constructed with a stiff piece of leather at the back of the heel, called the counter, and two or three layers of leather in the body of the boot.’
    • ‘The other most important feature is the heel counter on my new shoe.’
    • ‘A strip of plastizote must be glued inside the counter of the shoe above the baby's heel to prevent the shoes from slipping off.’
    • ‘Footwear should have a soft insole, heel counter and Velcro straps.’
    • ‘To test this push down on the heel counter with your thumb.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: abbreviation of counterfort buttress from French contrefort.

Pronunciation:

counter

/ˈkoun(t)ər/