Definition of counterattack in US English:



  • An attack made in response to one by an enemy or opponent.

    • ‘On February 15th, the Americans launched a counter-attack.’
    • ‘Media Houses failure to convert some easy scoring chances in that half made it more difficult for the team to regroup in their attempts to launch a counter-attack.’
    • ‘That inspired the Dragons to raise the pace and Sweeney looked lively as he launched a counter-attack from deep inside his own half.’
    • ‘By November 1941, he was already demanding that the Red Army should launch a counter-attack on the German forces as they dug in for the winter short of Moscow.’
    • ‘He controlled his defence totally in the penalty box and his distribution of the ball to launch counter-attacks was excellent.’
    • ‘The Germans launched at least 330 counter-attacks during the 1916 battle of the Somme.’
    • ‘Casualties mounted yesterday as the rebels launched counter-attacks in response to a fresh military offensive against them, officials here said.’
    • ‘He said this powermongering had led to empire-building, where sports structures were used as power bases for launching attacks and counter-attacks.’
    • ‘Somehow they held out and were able to launch an occasional counter-attack, until Ripon ran the ball back to open the scoring with a simple penalty.’
    • ‘In November the Germans consolidated and in December launched a counter-attack in the ARDENNES, the Battle of the Bulge.’
    • ‘Two days later the fiery General Mangin launched a counter-attack against the western flank of the salient with an army that now included American divisions.’
    • ‘They launched their counter-attack at a packed public meeting to discuss the plans.’
    • ‘Thiers launched his counter-attack from Versailles.’
    • ‘But fortunes took a sudden twist when Customs reverted to an aggressive counter-attack launched from the left-flank.’
    • ‘The Germans launched violent counter-attacks against our new positions on the outskirts of Heudicourt.’
    • ‘The lead suited the hosts style of play and they proceeded to absorb their opponents pressure before launching rapid counter-attacks of their own.’
    • ‘Two minutes later and Keenan again was whizzing down the right flank after Warnock had launched a counter-attack from deep inside.’
    • ‘Ing's male partners wanted to launch a full-scale counter-attack, but she opted for a softer approach.’
    • ‘For anyone committed to human progress it is imperative to launch a counter-attack against growth scepticism.’
    • ‘The second half began ominously for Ballina as they continued to waste chances and allow Ballyvarry to launch a counter-attack.’
    • ‘This means we must launch a counter-attack without delay.’
    • ‘The visitors, in direct contrast, played the patience game, sucking their opponents in or attempting to succeed on the counter-attack.’
    revenge, vengeance, reprisal, retribution, requital, recrimination, an eye for an eye, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, getting even, redress, repayment, payback
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[no object]
  • Attack in response.

    ‘as deputies tried to dislodge him, he counterattacked by forcing through elections’
    • ‘Armed forces are counter-attacking at every point of the 200-mile stretch from the north of Najaf to Basra in the south.’
    • ‘The move sparked a major controversy and the College counter-attacked in the periodical Mercurius Pragmaticus.’
    • ‘However, the local boys are made of strong stuff and repelled many attacks and counter-attacked at times with great skill and discipline.’
    • ‘The clipped messages, backed by the spare language of manifesto and advertising campaigns, had early impact but have begun to falter amid the pressure of increased scrutiny and more robust government counter-attacking.’
    • ‘She and Bonnie counter-attacked with as many spells, attacks, and blasts that they could manage, but nothing worked.’
    • ‘He was caught and O'Loughlin counter-attacked.’
    • ‘They stopped the attacks dead, occasionally counter-attacking to keep the game of interest.’
    • ‘The Marines counter-attacked, killing several of the gunmen.’
    • ‘It was the first time I'd finally counter-attacked.’
    • ‘The home side were soaking up the pressure well and clearing their lines effectively, counter-attacking as they did so.’
    • ‘Israel refrained from counter-attacking, so long as the missiles were duds.’
    • ‘He immediately counter-attacked and made good ground before linking up with the backs.’
    • ‘He dodged my attack with practiced ease, and counter-attacked quickly.’
    • ‘The man counter-attacked by using the same attack.’
    • ‘He has strained against every nettlesome one of them - counter-attacking and squandering valuable time that should have been used to promote his message.’
    • ‘That night, the Japanese counter-attacked under cover of artillery fire and over-ran a strong point on the edge of the Royal Berkshires' position.’
    • ‘After that we counter-attacked, overran their positions on the national highway and occupied the municipality.’
    • ‘If an enemy force is counter-attacking into your flank, a minefield can buy enough time to reposition your forces in order to respond.’
    • ‘The candidates have also attacked and counter-attacked in public with unrivaled speed, to say nothing of a loose affinity for the truth.’
    • ‘Sure enough, seven minutes after the break they counter-attacked with conviction, the end result being a solo try from Catt, who made the final dart for the line from 35 metres out.’
    • ‘Fighting does not mean being out of control, losing, counter-attacking, or giving energy to a hopeless cause, Gage writes.’
    be against, object to, be hostile to, be anti, be in opposition to, disagree with, dislike, disapprove of
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