- a horizontal surface, as in a shop or bank, over which business is transacted
- (in some cafeterias) a long table on which food is served to customers
- a small flat disc of wood, metal, or plastic, used in various board games
- a similar disc or token used as an imitation coin
- a person or thing that may be used or manipulated
- a skating figure consisting of three circles
- 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
- over the counter ⇒ (over-the-counter when prenominal) (of security transactions) through a broker rather than on a stock exchange
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
- a table or surface on which goods can be shown, etc.:Bring your goods to the checkout counter.
- (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.
- a long, flat surface for the preparation of food in a kitchen:Just put the dishes on the counter for now.
- Gamesanything used to keep account, esp. a disk or other small object used in a game, as checkers.
- (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.
- 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]
- a person or thing that counts.
- Physicsan instrument for detecting and registering radiation.
coun•ter3 /ˈkaʊntɚ/USA pronunciation adv.
- [~ + to + object] in the reverse direction;
contrary:This ran counter to what we expected.
adj. [be + ~ + to + object]
contrary:The attack was counter to our expectations.
v. [~ + object]
counter- has the meaning "against, counter to, opposed to.'' This meaning is found in such words as: counterattack, counterclockwise.
- in a contrary direction or manner
- in a wrong or reverse direction
- run counter to ⇒ to have a contrary effect or action to
- opposing; opposite; contrary
- something that is contrary or opposite to some other thing
- an act, effect, or force that opposes another
- a return attack, such as a blow in boxing
- a parry in which the foils move in a circular fashion
- the portion of the stern of a boat or ship that overhangs the water aft of the rudder
- a piece of leather forming the back of a shoe
- to say or do (something) in retaliation or response
- (transitive) to move, act, or perform in a manner or direction opposite to (a person or thing)
- to return the attack of (an opponent)
- a person who counts
- an apparatus that records the number of occurrences of events