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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

Synonyms for counteract

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for counteraction

Historical Examples of counteraction

  • We may have the counteraction generator, but they may have something else that we don't know about.

    The Highest Treason

    Randall Garrett

  • These are remedies which are useful in the counteraction of Scurvy and Purpura.

    The Action of Medicines in the System

    Frederick William Headland

  • He had heard of my life, and, as a counteraction of vice, he wanted its example in the palace.

  • Counteraction is only one mode of combination; in no case is any force destroyed.


    Carveth Read

  • But the first counteraction came, as it ought, in the shape of a new book for children.

British Dictionary definitions for counteraction


  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 counteraction



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper