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[koun-ter-peyn] /ˈkaʊn tərˌpeɪn/
noun, Older Use.
a quilt or coverlet for a bed; bedspread.
Origin of counterpane
late Middle English
1425-75; counter- + pane (in obsolete sense bedspread); replacing late Middle English counterpoynte < Middle French contre-pointe quilt, alteration (by association with contre- counter-) of cou(s)tepointe, coitepointe < Latin culcita puncta pricked pillow. See quilt, point
Related forms
counterpaned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for counterpane
Historical Examples
  • She twisted the fringe of the counterpane in her slender, white fingers, and she did not look at him.

    Quin Alice Hegan Rice
  • Then Linda knelt down, and hid her face upon the counterpane.

    Linda Tressel Anthony Trollope
  • Presently he turned round and his eyes fell upon Sylvia's white hand on the counterpane.

    Daisy Ashford: Her Book Daisy Ashford
  • You know you wouldn't sleep under such a counterpane as that.'

    Aunt Jane of Kentucky Eliza Calvert Hall
  • The unsteady ground, she said afterwards, "shook lak you wuz shakin' a counterpane."

    Mountain Clement Wood
  • And his fingers drummed on the counterpane, for the tune was new to him.

    Saint's Progress John Galsworthy
  • His servant entered the room; Boxtel hid himself under the counterpane.

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • A groan escaped him as his right hand brushed the counterpane.

    The Promise James B. Hendryx
  • She shut the door and bolted it, and buried her face in the counterpane in wild agony.

    Johnny Ludlow, Fifth Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Mrs Lupin and the young lady gazed in silence at the counterpane.

British Dictionary definitions for counterpane


another word for bedspread
Word Origin
C17: from obsolete counterpoint (influenced by pane coverlet), changed from Old French coutepointe quilt, from Medieval Latin culcita puncta quilted mattress
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 counterpane

"outer covering of a bed," c.1600, alteration of earlier counterpoynte (mid-15c.; see counterpoint) on model of Middle French pan, Latin pannus "cloth" (see pane).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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