• synonyms


[koun-ter-in-too-i-tiv, -tyoo-]
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  1. counter to what intuition would lead one to expect: The direction we had to follow was counterintuitive—we had to go north first before we went south.
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Origin of counterintuitive

First recorded in 1960–65; counter- + intuitive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for counterintuitive

unreasonable, illogical, nonsensical, faulty, implausible, absurd, contradictory, capricious, erratic, reasonless, senseless, preposterous, sophistic, untenable

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Contemporary Examples of counterintuitive

British Dictionary definitions for counterintuitive


  1. (of an idea, proposal, etc) seemingly contrary to common sense
  2. intelligence collected about enemy espionage
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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 counterintuitive


also counter-intuitive, 1955, from counter- + intuitive.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper