[noun koun-ter-uh-tak; verb koun-ter-uh-tak, koun-ter-uh-tak]


an attack made as an offset or reply to another attack.
Military. an attack by a ground combat unit to drive back an enemy attack.

verb (used with object)

to make a counterattack against.

verb (used without object)

to deliver a counterattack.

Nearby words

  1. counter-reformation,
  2. counter-revolution,
  3. counter-revolutionary,
  4. counteract,
  5. counterargument,
  6. counterattraction,
  7. counterbalance,
  8. counterbid,
  9. counterblast,
  10. counterblow

Origin of counterattack

First recorded in 1915–20; counter- + attack Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for counterattack

British Dictionary definitions for counterattack



an attack in response to an attack


to make a counterattack (against)
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper