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[noun koun-ter-bal-uh ns; verb koun-ter-bal-uh ns] /noun ˈkaʊn tərˌbæl əns; verb ˌkaʊn tərˈbæl əns/
a weight balancing another weight; an equal weight, power, or influence acting in opposition; counterpoise.
verb (used with or without object), counterbalanced, counterbalancing.
to act against or oppose with an equal weight, force, or influence; offset.
Origin of counterbalance
First recorded in 1570-80; counter- + balance
Related forms
uncounterbalanced, adjective
2. correct, countervail, rectify, balance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for counterbalance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In places our combined efforts could but just counterbalance the strength of the current.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • Something must be done to counterbalance this certain loss to the Confederates.

    Charles Carleton Coffin William Elliot Griffis, D. D.
  • But the gift of life to the young is ever a counterbalance to every evil that is less than death.

    Fardorougha, The Miser William Carleton
  • We must allow it to counterbalance breaches of ordinary courtesy.

  • But if she works for me she will more than counterbalance the fact that I am a stranger to the town.

    The Day of Judgment

    Joseph Hocking
British Dictionary definitions for counterbalance


noun (ˈkaʊntəˌbæləns)
a weight or force that balances or offsets another
verb (transitive) (ˌkaʊntəˈbæləns)
to act as a counterbalance
Also called counterpoise
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 counterbalance

1570s, from counter- + balance (v.), in reference to scales. Figurative use dates from 1630s. As a noun, from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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