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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What Does The “Bee” In Spelling Bee Mean Exactly?As spellers from across the country and around the globe gather to take part in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, let’s try to settle a basic question: Where does the bee in “spelling bee” come from? Bee is derived from the Old English bēn meaning “a prayer, a favor.” By the late eighteenth century, bee had become commonly associated with the British dialect form, been or …
Origin of counter-
Middle English countre-; see counter3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for counter-
against; opposite; contrarycounterattack
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
Word Origin and History for 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-).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Medicine definitions for counter-
Contrary; opposite; opposing:countertransport.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.