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See more synonyms for counteract on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to act in opposition to; frustrate by contrary action.
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Origin of counteract

First recorded in 1670–80; counter- + act
Related formscoun·ter·ac·tant, adjectivecoun·ter·act·er, coun·ter·ac·tor, nouncoun·ter·act·ing·ly, adverbcoun·ter·ac·tion, nouncoun·ter·ac·tive, adjectivecoun·ter·ac·tive·ly, adverbnon·coun·ter·ac·tive, adjectiveun·coun·ter·act·ed, adjective


See more synonyms for counteract on Thesaurus.com
neutralize, counterbalance, contravene, thwart.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for counteract

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He does not wish me to be there without his presence to counteract my evil influences.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • This impression, however, I found I could counteract the moment I had time for reflection.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

  • To no end did Barrington exert himself to conceal or counteract this frigidity.


    Charles James Lever

  • Warnings have been broadcasted, but there are no stocks of chemicals that might counteract it.

  • Hence, we must counteract the ocular deception by an adjustment of proportions.

British Dictionary definitions for counteract


  1. (tr) to oppose, neutralize, or mitigate the effects of by contrary action; check
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Derived Formscounteraction, nouncounteractive, adjectivecounteractively, adverb
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 counteract


1670s, from counter- + act (v.). Related: Counteracted; counteracting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper