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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

Related Words for counteractive

opposite, interfering, countering, counterproductive, cure, medicine, remedy, preventive

Examples from the Web for counteractive

Historical Examples of counteractive

  • No counteractive effect to this prepossession was to be found in contemporary opinion in Europe.

    Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812

    Alfred Thayer Mahan

  • But, along with so many incentives to excess, were there no counteractive agencies at work?

  • The counteractive of a false spiritualism is found in the incarnate life of the Son of God.

British Dictionary definitions for counteractive


  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 counteractive



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper