noun Older Use.

a quilt or coverlet for a bed; bedspread.

Origin of counterpane

1425–75; counter- + pane (in obsolete sense bedspread); replacing late Middle English counterpoynte < Middle French contre-pointe quilt, alteration (by association with contre- counter-) of cou(s)tepointe, coitepointe < Latin culcita puncta pricked pillow. See quilt, point
Related formscoun·ter·paned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for counterpane

Historical Examples of counterpane

  • Mrs Lupin and the young lady gazed in silence at the counterpane.

  • This mark on the counterpane appears to bear out that theory.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • The white night-dress was by the bedside, the night-cap was buried in the counterpane.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • A disregarded doll lay with inverted head on the counterpane.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • She twisted the fringe of the counterpane in her slender, white fingers, and she did not look at him.


    Alice Hegan Rice

British Dictionary definitions for counterpane



another word for bedspread

Word Origin for counterpane

C17: from obsolete counterpoint (influenced by pane coverlet), changed from Old French coutepointe quilt, from Medieval Latin culcita puncta quilted mattress
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 counterpane

"outer covering of a bed," c.1600, alteration of earlier counterpoynte (mid-15c.; see counterpoint) on model of Middle French pan, Latin pannus "cloth" (see pane).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper