[noun koun-ter-bal-uhns; verb koun-ter-bal-uhns]


a weight balancing another weight; an equal weight, power, or influence acting in opposition; counterpoise.

verb (used with or without object), coun·ter·bal·anced, coun·ter·bal·anc·ing.

to act against or oppose with an equal weight, force, or influence; offset.

Nearby words

  1. counter-revolutionary,
  2. counteract,
  3. counterargument,
  4. counterattack,
  5. counterattraction,
  6. counterbid,
  7. counterblast,
  8. counterblow,
  9. counterbore,
  10. counterbrace

Origin of counterbalance

First recorded in 1570–80; counter- + balance

Related formsun·coun·ter·bal·anced, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for counterbalance

British Dictionary definitions for counterbalance


noun (ˈkaʊntəˌbæləns)

a weight or force that balances or offsets another

verb (ˌkaʊntəˈbæləns) (tr)

to act as a counterbalance
Also called: counterpoise

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 counterbalance



1570s, from counter- + balance (v.), in reference to scales. Figurative use dates from 1630s. As a noun, from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper