One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Denoting opposition, retaliation, or rivalry.‘counterattack’‘counterespionage’
- 1.1 Denoting movement or effect in the opposite direction.‘counterpoise’‘counterbalance’
- 1.2 Denoting correspondence, duplication, or substitution.‘counterpart’‘counterpoint’
- 1.1 Denoting movement or effect in the opposite direction.
From Anglo-Norman French countre-, Old French contre, from Latin contra ‘against’.
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