• synonyms


[noun koun-ter-uh-tak; verb koun-ter-uh-tak, koun-ter-uh-tak]
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  1. an attack made as an offset or reply to another attack.
  2. Military. an attack by a ground combat unit to drive back an enemy attack.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make a counterattack against.
verb (used without object)
  1. to deliver a counterattack.

Origin of counterattack

First recorded in 1915–20; counter- + attack
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for counterattack


  1. an attack in response to an attack
  1. to make a counterattack (against)
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

Word Origin and History for counterattack


also counter-attack, 1882, from counter- + attack (n.); as two words from early 19c. The verb is recorded from 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper