WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
count•er1 /ˈkaʊntɚ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a table or surface on which goods can be shown, etc.:Bring your goods to the checkout counter.
  2. (in restaurants, etc.) a long, narrow table with stools for the customers, behind which meals are prepared and served:The waitress tossed our food down on the counter.
  3. a long, flat surface for the preparation of food in a kitchen:Just put the dishes on the counter for now.
  4. Gamesanything used to keep account, esp. a disk or other small object used in a game, as checkers.
  1. Idioms, Businessover the counter, [uncountable]
    • (of the sale of stock) through a broker's office rather than through the stock exchange.
    • (of the sale of medicinal drugs) without requiring a prescription:You can buy that drug over the counter in any shop.
  2. Idioms, Businessunder the counter, [uncountable] illegally:If we buy the tickets under the counter using dollars, we'll get a much better price and exchange rate.

count•er2 /ˈkaʊntɚ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a person or thing that counts.
  2. Physicsan instrument for detecting and registering radiation.

coun•ter3 /ˈkaʊntɚ/USA pronunciation   adv. 
  1. in the reverse direction;
    contrary:[+ to + object]This ran counter to what we expected.

adj. [be + ~ + to + object]
  1. opposite;
    contrary:The attack was counter to our expectations.

n. [countable]
  1. something opposite or contrary to something else, such as a statement or action made to oppose another:He made a quick counter to the guard's remark about ignorant tourists.

v. [+ object]
  1. to oppose, esp. so as to weaken:I countered her arguments by pointing out the advantages of my plan.

counter-, [prefix.]
  • counter- has the meaning "against, counter to, opposed to.'' This meaning is found in such words as: counterattack, counterclockwise.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
    count•er1  (kountər),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. a table or display case on which goods can be shown, business transacted, etc.
    2. (in restaurants, luncheonettes, etc.) a long, narrow table with stools or chairs along one side for the patrons, behind which refreshments or meals are prepared and served.
    3. a surface for the preparation of food in a kitchen, esp. on a low cabinet.
    4. Gamesanything used in keeping account, as a disk of metal or wood, used in some games, as checkers, for marking a player's position or for keeping score.
    5. an imitation coin or token.
    6. a coin;
    7. Businessover the counter: 
      • (of the sale of stock) through a broker's office rather than through the stock exchange.
      • (of the sale of merchandise) through a retail store rather than through a wholesaler.
    8. Idioms, Businessunder the counter, in a clandestine manner, esp. illegally:books sold under the counter.
    • Medieval Latin computātorium place for computing, equivalent. to Latin computā(re) to compute + -tōrium -tory2; compare count1
    • Anglo-French (Old French comptoir)
    • Middle English countour 1300–50

    count•er2  (kountər),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. a person who counts.
    2. a device for counting revolutions of a wheel, items produced, etc.
    3. Games[Cards.]See  card counter. 
    4. Computinga storage register or program variable used to tally how often something of interest occurs.
    5. Electronicsscaler (def. 2).
    6. [Physics.]any of various instruments for detecting ionizing radiation and for registering counts. Cf. Geiger counter.
    • Anglo-French (Old French conteor) Latin computātor, equivalent. to computā(re) to compute + -tor -tor
    • Middle English countour 1325–75

    coun•ter3  (kountər),USA pronunciation adv. 
    1. in the wrong way;
      contrary to the right course;
      in the reverse or opposite direction.
    2. contrary;
      in opposition (usually prec. by run or go):to run counter to the rules.

    1. opposite;

    1. something that is opposite or contrary to something else.
    2. a blow delivered in receiving or parrying another blow, as in boxing.
    3. a statement or action made to refute, oppose, or nullify another statement or action.
    4. Sport[Fencing.]a circular parry.
    5. Clothinga piece of leather or other material inserted between the lining and outside leather of a shoe or boot quarter to keep it stiff.
    6. Nautical, Naval Termsthe part of a stern that overhangs and projects aft of the sternpost of a vessel.
    7. PrintingAlso called  void. [Typesetting.]any part of the face of a type that is less than type-high and is therefore not inked.
    8. Building, Civil Engineering[Engin., Building Trades.]a truss member subject to stress only under certain partial loadings of the truss.
    9. Zoologythe part of a horse's breast that lies between the shoulders and under the neck.

    1. to go counter to;
    2. to meet or answer (a move, blow, etc.) by another in return.

    1. to make a counter or opposing move.
    2. to give a blow while receiving or parrying one, as in boxing.
    • Latin contrā against. See counter-
    • Anglo-French co(u)ntre, cuntre, Old French contre
    • late Middle English countre 1400–50

    coun•ter4  (kountər),USA pronunciation v.t. 
    1. to encounter in opposition or combat.
    • Middle French acontrer. See a-5, encounter
    • Middle English countren, aphetic variant of acountren 1250–1300

  • a combining form of  counter3, used with the meanings "against,'' "contrary,'' "opposite,'' "in opposition or response to'' (countermand);
    "complementary,'' "in reciprocation,'' "corresponding,'' "parallel'' (counterfoil;
    "substitute,'' "duplicate'' (counterfeit).
    • see counter3 Middle English countre-

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    counter /ˈkaʊntə/ n
    1. a horizontal surface, as in a shop or bank, over which business is transacted
    2. (in some cafeterias) a long table on which food is served to customers
    3. a small flat disc of wood, metal, or plastic, used in various board games
    4. a similar disc or token used as an imitation coin
    5. a person or thing that may be used or manipulated
    6. a skating figure consisting of three circles
    7. under the counter ⇒ (under-the-counter when prenominal) (of the sale of goods, esp goods in short supply) clandestine, surreptitious, or illegal; not in an open manner
    8. over the counter ⇒ (over-the-counter when prenominal) (of security transactions) through a broker rather than on a stock exchange
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French comptouer, ultimately from Latin computāre to compute
    counter /ˈkaʊntə/ adv
    1. in a contrary direction or manner
    2. in a wrong or reverse direction
    3. run counter toto have a contrary effect or action to
    1. opposing; opposite; contrary
    1. something that is contrary or opposite to some other thing
    2. an act, effect, or force that opposes another
    3. a return attack, such as a blow in boxing
    4. a parry in which the foils move in a circular fashion
    5. the portion of the stern of a boat or ship that overhangs the water aft of the rudder
    6. a piece of leather forming the back of a shoe
    1. to say or do (something) in retaliation or response
    2. (transitive) to move, act, or perform in a manner or direction opposite to (a person or thing)
    3. to return the attack of (an opponent)
    Etymology: 15th Century: from Old French contre, from Latin contrā against
    counter /ˈkaʊntə/ n
    1. a person who counts
    2. an apparatus that records the number of occurrences of events
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French conteor, from Latin computātor; see count1

    counter- prefix
    1. against; opposite; contrary: counterattack
    2. complementary; corresponding: counterfoil
    Etymology: via Norman French from Latin contrā against, opposite; see contra-

    'counter' also found in these entries:
    Collocations: counter his [attack, punch, strike, advances], a [marble, linoleum, wood] counter, a counter-[attack, proposal, argument, clockwise], more...

    Forum discussions with the word(s) "counter" in the title:

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