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[kount] /kaʊnt/
verb (used with object)
to check over (the separate units or groups of a collection) one by one to determine the total number; add up; enumerate:
He counted his tickets and found he had ten.
to reckon up; calculate; compute.
to list or name the numerals up to:
Close your eyes and count ten.
to include in a reckoning; take into account:
There are five of us here, counting me.
to reckon to the credit of another; ascribe; impute.
to consider or regard:
He counted himself lucky to have survived the crash.
verb (used without object)
to count the items of a collection one by one in order to determine the total:
She counted three times before she was satisfied that none was missing.
to list or name numerals in order:
to count to 100 by fives.
to reckon numerically.
to have a specified numerical value.
to be accounted or worth something:
That first try didn't count—I was just practicing.
to have merit, importance, value, etc.; deserve consideration:
Every bit of help counts.
to have worth; amount (usually followed by for):
Intelligence counts for something.
the act of counting; enumeration; reckoning; calculation:
A count of hands showed 23 in favor and 16 opposed.
the number representing the result of a process of counting; the total number.
an accounting.
Baseball. the number of balls and strikes, usually designated in that order, that have been called on a batter during a turn at bat:
a count of two balls and one strike.
Law. a distinct charge or theory of action in a declaration or indictment:
He was found guilty on two counts of theft.
  1. a number representing the size or quality of yarn, especially the number based on the relation of weight to length of the yarn and indicating its degree of coarseness.
  2. the number of warp and filling threads per square inch in woven material, representing the texture of the fabric.
Bowling. the number of pins struck down by the first ball rolled by a bowler in the frame following a spare and included in the score for the frame in which the spare was made.
  1. a single ionizing reaction registered by an ionization chamber, as in a Geiger counter.
  2. the indication of the total number of ionizing reactions registered by an ionization chamber in a given period of time.
Archaic. regard; notice.
the count, Boxing. the calling aloud by the referee of the seconds from 1 to 10 while a downed boxer remains off his feet. Completion of the count signifies a knockout, which the referee then declares:
A hard right sent the challenger down for the count.
Also called the full count.
noting a number of items determined by an actual count:
The box is labeled 50 count.
Verb phrases
count down, to count backward, usually by ones, from a given integer to zero.
count in, to include:
If you're going to the beach, count me in.
count off, (often used imperatively, as in the army) to count aloud by turns, as to arrange positions within a group of persons; divide or become divided into groups:
Close up ranks and count off from the left by threes.
count on/upon, to depend or rely on:
You can always count on him to lend you money.
count out,
  1. Boxing. to declare (a boxer) a loser because of inability to stand up before the referee has counted 10 seconds.
  2. to exclude:
    When it comes to mountain climbing, count me out.
  3. to count and apportion or give out:
    She counted out four cookies to each child.
  4. to disqualify (ballots) illegally in counting, in order to control the election.
count coup. coup1 (def 4).
Origin of count1
1275-1325; (v.) Middle English counten < Anglo-French c(o)unter, Old French conter < Latin computāre to compute; (noun) Middle English counte < Anglo-French c(o)unte, Old French conte < Late Latin computus calculation, reckoning, noun derivative of computāre
Related forms
half-counted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for count down
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Well, after the first volley, we'll cut the count down just one-half.

    Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay G. Harvey Ralphson
  • From the corner of the mat, A, on the long edge, count down to B.

    Philippine Mats Hugo H. Miller
  • During this struggle the smith had held the count down with his left hand, and defended himself against Lopez with the right.

  • Yea, count down his heart in death-drops for her; and go to Pluto, that she might go to Paradise.

    Pierre; or The Ambiguities Herman Melville
  • count down from corner A to B and weave a line entirely around the mat.

    Philippine Mats Hugo H. Miller
  • count down from A to B and weave border line around the entire mat.

    Philippine Mats Hugo H. Miller
  • And therewith she did count down ten broad gold pieces upon th' kitchen table.

  • I do not imagine he will ever be able to count down guineas against her guineas, or that he wants to do anything so absurd.

    The Uninhabited House Mrs. J. H. Riddell
British Dictionary definitions for count down


to add up or check (each unit in a collection) in order to ascertain the sum; enumerate: count your change
(transitive) to recite numbers in ascending order up to and including
(transitive) often foll by in. to take into account or include: we must count him in
not counting, excluding
(transitive) to believe to be; consider; think; deem: count yourself lucky
(intransitive) to recite or list numbers in ascending order either in units or groups: to count in tens
(intransitive) to have value, importance, or influence: this picture counts as a rarity
(intransitive) often foll by for. to have a certain specified value or importance: the job counts for a lot
(intransitive) (music) to keep time by counting beats
the act of counting or reckoning
the number reached by counting; sum
(law) a paragraph in an indictment containing a distinct and separate charge
(physics) the total number of photons or ionized particles detected by a counter
keep count, to keep a record of items, events, etc
lose count, to fail to keep an accurate record of items, events, etc
(boxing, wrestling) the act of telling off a number of seconds by the referee, as when a boxer has been knocked down or a wrestler pinned by his opponent
(boxing) out for the count, knocked out and unable to continue after a count of ten by the referee
(boxing) take the count, to be unable to continue after a count of ten
(archaic) notice; regard; account
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French counter, from Old French conter, from Latin computāre to calculate, compute


a nobleman in any of various European countries having a rank corresponding to that of a British earl
any of various officials in the late Roman Empire and under various Germanic kings in the early Middle Ages
a man who has received an honour (papal knighthood) from the Pope in recognition of good deeds, achievements, etc
Derived Forms
countship, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French conte, from Late Latin comes occupant of a state office, from Latin: overseer, associate, literally: one who goes with, from com- with + īre to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for count down



mid-14c., from Old French conter "add up," but also "tell a story," from Latin computare (see compute). Related: Counted; counting. Modern French differentiates compter "to count" and conter "to tell," but they are cognates.



title of nobility, c.1300, from Anglo-French counte (Old French conte), from Latin comitem (nominative comes) "companion, attendant," the Roman term for a provincial governor, from com- "with" (see com-) + stem of ire "to go" (see ion). The term was used in Anglo-French to render Old English eorl, but the word was never truly naturalized and mainly was used with reference to foreign titles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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count down in Medicine

count (kount)
v. count·ed, count·ing, counts
To name or list the units of a group or collection one by one in order to determine a total. n.

  1. The act of counting or calculating.

  2. The totality of specific items in a particular sample.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for count down


Related Terms

down for the count, no-count

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with count down

count down

Count backward from any number to zero to indicate time, as in The final seconds before take off were counted down: 10, 9, 8, etc. The down in this term refers to the decreasing size of the numbers. This usage originated in connection with the firing of missiles and spacecraft and has since been broadened to such events as the roll call of states at a political convention. [ c. 1950 ]
Make final preparations for an event, as in Hong Kong was counting down to the day when it became part of mainland China. This usage is derived from def. 1. [ Late 1950s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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