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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for counterpane
Historical Examples
  • Mrs Lupin and the young lady gazed in silence at the counterpane.

  • This mark on the counterpane appears to bear out that theory.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • The white night-dress was by the bedside, the night-cap was buried in the counterpane.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • A disregarded doll lay with inverted head on the counterpane.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • She twisted the fringe of the counterpane in her slender, white fingers, and she did not look at him.

    Quin Alice Hegan Rice
  • She was in her night-dress, and a counterpane half over her.

  • I flopped on the bed, stretched my arm out against the counterpane.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • One of the little sleeper's hands was thrown outside the counterpane.

    A Young Mutineer Mrs. L. T. Meade
  • Edward was kneeling beside his bed with his head hidden in the counterpane.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • Then Linda knelt down, and hid her face upon the counterpane.

    Linda Tressel

    Anthony Trollope
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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