[noun, verb koun-ter-sahyn; verb koun-ter-sahyn]
  1. a sign used in reply to another sign.
  2. Military. a secret sign that must be given by authorized persons seeking admission through a guarded area.
  3. a signature added to another signature, especially for authentication.
verb (used with object)
  1. to sign (a document that has been signed by someone else), especially in confirmation or authentication.

Origin of countersign

1585–95; counter- + sign, modeled on Middle French contresigne, or its source, Old Italian contrasegno Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for countersigned

authorize, certify, corroborate, signature, confirm, sign, mark, watchword, seal, password

Examples from the Web for countersigned

Historical Examples of countersigned

British Dictionary definitions for countersigned


verb (ˈkaʊntəˌsaɪn, ˌkaʊntəˈsaɪn)
  1. (tr) to sign (a document already signed by another)
noun (ˈkaʊntəˌsaɪn)
  1. Also called: countersignature the signature so written
  2. a secret sign given in response to another sign
  3. mainly military a password
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 countersigned



1590s, from Middle French contresigne, from contre- "against" (see contra-) + signe "sign" (see sign (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper