- to act or avail against with equal power, force, or effect; counteract.
- to furnish an equivalent of or a compensation for; offset.
- Archaic. to equal.
- to be of equal force in opposition; avail.
Origin of countervail
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. counterbalance, counterpoise, neutralize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for countervailing
Only a countervailing principle like equal citizenship can stop it from expanding indefinitely—as it has been doing.Undo Citizens United? We’d Only Scratch the Surface
November 12, 2014
The state likely will lead in the countervailing lawsuits when (insert a horrid disease here) is found to be linked to e-puffing.Big Tobacco, Not MRSA, Is the Real Problem With E-Cigarettes
May 20, 2014
Contrary to common assumptions, the Bush-Kerry campaign of 2004 offers no countervailing example.Obama Must Defend His Own Record, Not Savage Romney’s Character
July 13, 2012
Excessive secrecy and the countervailing need to share information only exacerbate and complicate the situation.Bradley Manning Trial: Questioning Why So Much Is Classified
December 18, 2011
Tiara missed Eunice, but there was a countervailing joy in her soul.The Hindered Hand
Sutton E. Griggs
By the separate act of our own legislatures, for countervailing their effects.Thirty Years' View (Vol. I of 2)
Thomas Hart Benton
To the eighth Demonstration, ingenious as it is, succeeds a countervailing reversal in the ninth: the Neither following the Both.
Hence the overpursuit of any one subject may be hurtful, unless duly balanced by countervailing forces.
He turned at the open window, held out a long forefinger, and uttered his countervailing faith.The Research Magnificent
H. G. Wells
- (when intr, usually foll by against) to act or act against with equal power or force
- (tr) to make up for; compensate; offset
C14: from Old French contrevaloir, from Latin contrā valēre, from contrā against + valēre to be strong
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 countervailing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper