[noun, verb koun-ter-plot; verb koun-ter-plot]


a plot directed against another plot.
Literature. a secondary theme in a play or other literary work, used as a contrast to or variation of the main theme.Compare subplot.

verb (used without object), coun·ter·plot·ted, coun·ter·plot·ting.

to devise a counterplot.

verb (used with object), coun·ter·plot·ted, coun·ter·plot·ting.

to plot against (a plot or plotter).

Origin of counterplot

First recorded in 1590–1600; counter- + plot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for counterplot

Historical Examples of counterplot

  • The story of each year, with its plot and counterplot, I have told elsewhere.

  • The king is only, or he appears, tricksy because you compel him to wind and counterplot.

    Vittoria, Complete

    George Meredith

  • But the waters were seething now, stirred to their very lees by plot and counterplot.

    The Secret Witness

    George Gibbs

  • It was evident that I had been plunged into the center of intrigue, plot and counterplot.


    Earle Ashley Walcott

  • She was warned in time, and thereupon hatched a counterplot for his destruction.

British Dictionary definitions for counterplot



a plot designed to frustrate another plot

verb -plots, -plotting or -plotted

(tr) to oppose with a counterplot
(intr) to devise or carry out a counterplot
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