• synonyms


[noun koun-ter-uh-tak; verb koun-ter-uh-tak, koun-ter-uh-tak]
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  1. an attack made as an offset or reply to another attack.
  2. Military. an attack by a ground combat unit to drive back an enemy attack.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make a counterattack against.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to deliver a counterattack.
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Origin of counterattack

First recorded in 1915–20; counter- + attack
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for counterattack

retribution, revenge, reprisal, counterblow, counteraction, reciprocation, vengeance, neutralization, countermove, counteroffensive

Examples from the Web for counterattack

Contemporary Examples of counterattack

Historical Examples of counterattack

British Dictionary definitions for counterattack


  1. an attack in response to an attack
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  1. to make a counterattack (against)
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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 counterattack


also counter-attack, 1882, from counter- + attack (n.); as two words from early 19c. The verb is recorded from 1916.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper