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[koun-ter-akt] /ˌkaʊn tərˈækt/
verb (used with object)
to act in opposition to; frustrate by contrary action.
Origin of counteract
First recorded in 1670-80; counter- + act
Related forms
counteractant, adjective
counteracter, counteractor, noun
counteractingly, adverb
counteraction, noun
counteractive, adjective
counteractively, adverb
noncounteractive, adjective
uncounteracted, adjective
neutralize, counterbalance, contravene, thwart. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for counteract
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He does not wish me to be there without his presence to counteract my evil influences.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • This impression, however, I found I could counteract the moment I had time for reflection.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler
  • To no end did Barrington exert himself to conceal or counteract this frigidity.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • Warnings have been broadcasted, but there are no stocks of chemicals that might counteract it.

  • Hence, we must counteract the ocular deception by an adjustment of proportions.

British Dictionary definitions for counteract


(transitive) to oppose, neutralize, or mitigate the effects of by contrary action; check
Derived Forms
counteraction, noun
counteractive, adjective
counteractively, adverb
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 counteract

1670s, from counter- + act (v.). Related: Counteracted; counteracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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