[noun, verb koun-ter-sahyn; verb koun-ter-sahyn]
- a sign used in reply to another sign.
- Military. a secret sign that must be given by authorized persons seeking admission through a guarded area.
- a signature added to another signature, especially for authentication.
- to sign (a document that has been signed by someone else), especially in confirmation or authentication.
Origin of countersign
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for countersign
“Advance, friend, and give the countersign,” was the command.The Dare Boys of 1776
Stephen Angus Cox
Every now and then, when challenged, she mechanically repeated the countersign.The Traitors
E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
Going up to the sentinel, I told him who we were, and that we had not the countersign.The Citizen-Soldier
Their concluding words had evidently been some form of sign and countersign.A Study In Scarlet
Arthur Conan Doyle
We had no countersign, but I immediately ran the boat ashore, and we landed.Field and Forest
- (tr) to sign (a document already signed by another)
- Also called: countersignature the signature so written
- a secret sign given in response to another sign
- mainly military a password
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 countersign
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper