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counter1

[koun-ter]
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noun
  1. a table or display case on which goods can be shown, business transacted, etc.
  2. (in restaurants, luncheonettes, etc.) a long, narrow table with stools or chairs along one side for the patrons, behind which refreshments or meals are prepared and served.
  3. a surface for the preparation of food in a kitchen, especially on a low cabinet.
  4. anything used in keeping account, as a disk of metal or wood, used in some games, as checkers, for marking a player's position or for keeping score.
  5. an imitation coin or token.
  6. a coin; money.
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Idioms
  1. over the counter,
    1. (of the sale of stock) through a broker's office rather than through the stock exchange.
    2. (of the sale of merchandise) through a retail store rather than through a wholesaler.
  2. under the counter, in a clandestine manner, especially illegally: books sold under the counter.
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Origin of counter1

1300–50; Middle English countour < Anglo-French (Old French comptoir) < Medieval Latin computātorium place for computing, equivalent to Latin computā(re) to compute + -tōrium -tory2; cf. count1

counter2

[koun-ter]
noun
  1. a person who counts.
  2. a device for counting revolutions of a wheel, items produced, etc.
  3. Cards. card counter.
  4. Computers. a storage register or program variable used to tally how often something of interest occurs.
  5. Electronics. scaler(def 2).
  6. Physics. any of various instruments for detecting ionizing radiation and for registering counts.
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Origin of counter2

1325–75; Middle English countour < Anglo-French (Old French conteor) ≪ Latin computātor, equivalent to computā(re) to compute + -tor -tor

counter3

[koun-ter]
adverb
  1. in the wrong way; contrary to the right course; in the reverse or opposite direction.
  2. contrary; in opposition (usually preceded by run or go): to run counter to the rules.
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adjective
  1. opposite; opposed; contrary.
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noun
  1. something that is opposite or contrary to something else.
  2. a blow delivered in receiving or parrying another blow, as in boxing.
  3. a statement or action made to refute, oppose, or nullify another statement or action.
  4. Fencing. a circular parry.
  5. a piece of leather or other material inserted between the lining and outside leather of a shoe or boot quarter to keep it stiff.
  6. Nautical. the part of a stern that overhangs and projects aft of the sternpost of a vessel.
  7. Also called void. Typesetting. any part of the face of a type that is less than type-high and is therefore not inked.
  8. Engineering, Building Trades. a truss member subject to stress only under certain partial loadings of the truss.
  9. the part of a horse's breast that lies between the shoulders and under the neck.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to go counter to; oppose; controvert.
  2. to meet or answer (a move, blow, etc.) by another in return.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make a counter or opposing move.
  2. to give a blow while receiving or parrying one, as in boxing.
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Origin of counter3

1400–50; late Middle English countre < Anglo-French co(u)ntre, cuntre, Old French contre < Latin contrā against. See counter-

counter4

[koun-ter]
verb (used with object)
  1. to encounter in opposition or combat.
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Origin of counter4

1250–1300; Middle English countren, aphetic variant of acountren < Middle French acontrer. See a-5, encounter

count1

[kount]
verb (used with object)
  1. to check over (the separate units or groups of a collection) one by one to determine the total number; add up; enumerate: He counted his tickets and found he had ten.
  2. to reckon up; calculate; compute.
  3. to list or name the numerals up to: Close your eyes and count ten.
  4. to include in a reckoning; take into account: There are five of us here, counting me.
  5. to reckon to the credit of another; ascribe; impute.
  6. to consider or regard: He counted himself lucky to have survived the crash.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to count the items of a collection one by one in order to determine the total: She counted three times before she was satisfied that none was missing.
  2. to list or name numerals in order: to count to 100 by fives.
  3. to reckon numerically.
  4. to have a specified numerical value.
  5. to be accounted or worth something: That first try didn't count—I was just practicing.
  6. to have merit, importance, value, etc.; deserve consideration: Every bit of help counts.
  7. to have worth; amount (usually followed by for): Intelligence counts for something.
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noun
  1. the act of counting; enumeration; reckoning; calculation: A count of hands showed 23 in favor and 16 opposed.
  2. the number representing the result of a process of counting; the total number.
  3. an accounting.
  4. Baseball. the number of balls and strikes, usually designated in that order, that have been called on a batter during a turn at bat: a count of two balls and one strike.
  5. Law. a distinct charge or theory of action in a declaration or indictment: He was found guilty on two counts of theft.
  6. Textiles.
    1. a number representing the size or quality of yarn, especially the number based on the relation of weight to length of the yarn and indicating its degree of coarseness.
    2. the number of warp and filling threads per square inch in woven material, representing the texture of the fabric.
  7. Bowling. the number of pins struck down by the first ball rolled by a bowler in the frame following a spare and included in the score for the frame in which the spare was made.
  8. Physics.
    1. a single ionizing reaction registered by an ionization chamber, as in a Geiger counter.
    2. the indication of the total number of ionizing reactions registered by an ionization chamber in a given period of time.
  9. Archaic. regard; notice.
  10. the count, Boxing. the calling aloud by the referee of the seconds from 1 to 10 while a downed boxer remains off his feet. Completion of the count signifies a knockout, which the referee then declares: A hard right sent the challenger down for the count.Also called the full count.
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adjective
  1. noting a number of items determined by an actual count: The box is labeled 50 count.
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Verb Phrases
  1. count down, to count backward, usually by ones, from a given integer to zero.
  2. count in, to include: If you're going to the beach, count me in.
  3. count off, (often used imperatively, as in the army) to count aloud by turns, as to arrange positions within a group of persons; divide or become divided into groups: Close up ranks and count off from the left by threes.
  4. count on/upon, to depend or rely on: You can always count on him to lend you money.
  5. count out,
    1. Boxing.to declare (a boxer) a loser because of inability to stand up before the referee has counted 10 seconds.
    2. to exclude: When it comes to mountain climbing, count me out.
    3. to count and apportion or give out: She counted out four cookies to each child.
    4. to disqualify (ballots) illegally in counting, in order to control the election.
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Idioms
  1. count coup. coup1(def 4).
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Origin of count1

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English counten < Anglo-French c(o)unter, Old French conter < Latin computāre to compute; (noun) Middle English counte < Anglo-French c(o)unte, Old French conte < Late Latin computus calculation, reckoning, noun derivative of computāre
Related formshalf-count·ed, adjective

counter-

  1. a combining form of counter3, used with the meanings “against,” “contrary,” “opposite,” “in opposition or response to” (countermand); “complementary,” “in reciprocation,” “corresponding,” “parallel” (counterfoil; counterbalance); “substitute,” “duplicate” (counterfeit).
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Origin of counter-

Middle English countre-; see counter3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for counter

counter1

noun
  1. a horizontal surface, as in a shop or bank, over which business is transacted
  2. (in some cafeterias) a long table on which food is served to customers
    1. a small flat disc of wood, metal, or plastic, used in various board games
    2. a similar disc or token used as an imitation coin
  3. a person or thing that may be used or manipulated
  4. a skating figure consisting of three circles
  5. under the counter (under-the-counter when prenominal) (of the sale of goods, esp goods in short supply) clandestine, surreptitious, or illegal; not in an open manner
  6. over the counter (over-the-counter when prenominal) (of security transactions) through a broker rather than on a stock exchange
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French comptouer, ultimately from Latin computāre to compute

counter2

adverb
  1. in a contrary direction or manner
  2. in a wrong or reverse direction
  3. run counter to to have a contrary effect or action to
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adjective
  1. opposing; opposite; contrary
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noun
  1. something that is contrary or opposite to some other thing
  2. an act, effect, or force that opposes another
  3. a return attack, such as a blow in boxing
  4. fencing a parry in which the foils move in a circular fashion
  5. the portion of the stern of a boat or ship that overhangs the water aft of the rudder
  6. Also called: void printing the inside area of a typeface that is not type high, such as the centre of an "o", and therefore does not print
  7. the part of a horse's breast under the neck and between the shoulders
  8. a piece of leather forming the back of a shoe
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verb
  1. to say or do (something) in retaliation or response
  2. (tr) to move, act, or perform in a manner or direction opposite to (a person or thing)
  3. to return the attack of (an opponent)
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French contre, from Latin contrā against

counter3

noun
  1. a person who counts
  2. an apparatus that records the number of occurrences of events
  3. any instrument for detecting or counting ionizing particles or photonsSee Geiger counter, scintillation counter, crystal counter
  4. electronics another name for scaler (def. 2)
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French conteor, from Latin computātor; see count 1

counter-

prefix
  1. against; opposite; contrarycounterattack
  2. complementary; correspondingcounterfoil
  3. duplicate or substitutecounterfeit
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Word Origin

via Norman French from Latin contrā against, opposite; see contra-

count1

verb
  1. to add up or check (each unit in a collection) in order to ascertain the sum; enumeratecount your change
  2. (tr) to recite numbers in ascending order up to and including
  3. (tr often foll by in) to take into account or includewe must count him in
  4. not counting excluding
  5. (tr) to believe to be; consider; think; deemcount yourself lucky
  6. (intr) to recite or list numbers in ascending order either in units or groupsto count in tens
  7. (intr) to have value, importance, or influencethis picture counts as a rarity
  8. (intr often foll by for) to have a certain specified value or importancethe job counts for a lot
  9. (intr) music to keep time by counting beats
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noun
  1. the act of counting or reckoning
  2. the number reached by counting; sum
  3. law a paragraph in an indictment containing a distinct and separate charge
  4. physics the total number of photons or ionized particles detected by a counter
  5. keep count to keep a record of items, events, etc
  6. lose count to fail to keep an accurate record of items, events, etc
  7. boxing wrestling the act of telling off a number of seconds by the referee, as when a boxer has been knocked down or a wrestler pinned by his opponent
  8. out for the count boxing knocked out and unable to continue after a count of ten by the referee
  9. take the count boxing to be unable to continue after a count of ten
  10. archaic notice; regard; account
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Word Origin

C14: from Anglo-French counter, from Old French conter, from Latin computāre to calculate, compute

count2

noun
  1. a nobleman in any of various European countries having a rank corresponding to that of a British earl
  2. any of various officials in the late Roman Empire and under various Germanic kings in the early Middle Ages
  3. a man who has received an honour (papal knighthood) from the Pope in recognition of good deeds, achievements, etc
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Derived Formscountship, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Old French conte, from Late Latin comes occupant of a state office, from Latin: overseer, associate, literally: one who goes with, from com- with + īre to go
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 counter

n.

mid-14c., "table where a money lender does business," from Old French contouer, comptoir (14c.) "counting room, table of a bank," from Medieval Latin computatorium "place of accounts," from Latin computatus, past participle of computare (see compute). Generalized 19c. from banks to shops, then extended to display cases for goods. Phrase under the counter is from 1926.

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v.

"go against," late 14c., from Old French countre "facing opposite" (see counter-). Related: Countered; countering. As an adverb, from mid-15c.; as an adjective, from 1590s.

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count

v.

mid-14c., from Old French conter "add up," but also "tell a story," from Latin computare (see compute). Related: Counted; counting. Modern French differentiates compter "to count" and conter "to tell," but they are cognates.

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count

n.

title of nobility, c.1300, from Anglo-French counte (Old French conte), from Latin comitem (nominative comes) "companion, attendant," the Roman term for a provincial governor, from com- "with" (see com-) + stem of ire "to go" (see ion). The term was used in Anglo-French to render Old English eorl, but the word was never truly naturalized and mainly was used with reference to foreign titles.

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counter-

word-forming element meaning "against; in return; corresponding," from Anglo-French countre-, French contre-, from Latin contra "opposite, contrary to, against, in return," also used as a prefix (see contra-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

counter in Medicine

counter

(kountər)
n.
  1. One that counts, especially an electronic or mechanical device that automatically counts occurrences or repetitions of phenomena or events.
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count

(kount)
v.
  1. To name or list the units of a group or collection one by one in order to determine a total.
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n.
  1. The act of counting or calculating.
  2. The totality of specific items in a particular sample.
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counter-

pref.
  1. Contrary; opposite; opposing:countertransport.
  2. Corresponding; complementary:counterincision.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with counter

counter

see run counter to; under the counter.

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count

In addition to the idioms beginning with count

  • count against
  • count down
  • count for
  • count in
  • count noses
  • count off
  • count on
  • count one's chickens before they hatch
  • count out
  • count to ten

also see:

  • down for the count
  • every minute counts
  • out for (the count)
  • stand up and be counted
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.