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counter

1
[ koun-ter ]
/ ˈkaʊn tər /
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See synonyms for: counter / countered / countering / counters on Thesaurus.com

noun

a table or display case on which goods can be shown, business transacted, etc.
(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.
a surface for the preparation of food in a kitchen, especially on a low cabinet.
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.
an imitation coin or token.
a coin; money.

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Idioms for counter

    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.
    under the counter, in a clandestine manner, especially illegally: books sold under the counter.

Origin of counter

1
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English countour, from Anglo-French (Old French comptoir ), from Medieval Latin computātorium “place for computing,” equivalent to Latin computā(re) “to think, calculate” + -tōrium noun suffix; see compute, -tory2; cf. count1

Definition for counter (2 of 5)

counter2
[ koun-ter ]
/ ˈkaʊn tər /

noun

a device for counting revolutions of a wheel, items produced, etc.
a person who counts.
Cards. card counter.
Computers. a storage register or program variable used to tally how often something of interest occurs.
Electronics. scaler (def. 2).
Physics. any of various instruments for detecting ionizing radiation and for registering counts.See also Geiger counter.

Origin of counter

2
First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English countour, from Anglo-French (Old French conteor ), ultimately derived from Latin computātor, equivalent to computā(re) “to think, calculate” + -tor noun suffix; see compute, -tor

Definition for counter (3 of 5)

Origin of counter

3
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English countre, from Anglo-French co(u)ntre, cuntre,Old French contre, from Latin contrā “against”; see counter-

Definition for counter (4 of 5)

counter4
[ koun-ter ]
/ ˈkaʊn tər /

verb (used with object)

to encounter in opposition or combat.

Origin of counter

4
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English countren, aphetic variant of acountren, from Middle French acontrer; see a-5, encounter

Definition for counter (5 of 5)

counter-

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).

Origin of counter-

Middle English countre-;see counter3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use counter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for counter (1 of 4)

counter1
/ (ˈkaʊntə) /

noun

Word Origin for counter

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

British Dictionary definitions for counter (2 of 4)

Word Origin for counter

C15: from Old French contre, from Latin contrā against

British Dictionary definitions for counter (3 of 4)

counter3
/ (ˈkaʊntə) /

noun

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

Word Origin for counter

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

British Dictionary definitions for counter (4 of 4)

counter-

prefix

against; opposite; contrarycounterattack
complementary; correspondingcounterfoil
duplicate or substitutecounterfeit

Word Origin for counter-

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

Medical definitions for counter (1 of 2)

counter
[ kountər ]

n.

One that counts, especially an electronic or mechanical device that automatically counts occurrences or repetitions of phenomena or events.

Medical definitions for counter (2 of 2)

counter-

pref.

Contrary; opposite; opposing:countertransport.
Corresponding; complementary:counterincision.
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.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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