- to act or avail against with equal power, force, or effect; counteract.
- to furnish an equivalent of or a compensation for; offset.
- Archaic. to equal.
- to be of equal force in opposition; avail.
Origin of countervail
SynonymsSee more synonyms for countervail on Thesaurus.com
1. counterbalance, counterpoise, neutralize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for countervail
In the case of Dryden there is nothing to countervail this presumption.The History of England from the Accession of James II.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
You had, besides, on Virginia, sacred claims which nothing could countervail.Paul and Virginia
Bernardin de Saint Pierre
If I thought of it at all, it was as the agent of a necessity which I could not countervail.Confession
W. Gilmore Simms
There are armed men enow to countervail all your efforts at escape.The Monastery
Sir Walter Scott
No time was to be lost, and measures were immediately taken to countervail these designs.
- (when intr, usually foll by against) to act or act against with equal power or force
- (tr) to make up for; compensate; offset
C14: from Old French contrevaloir, from Latin contrā valēre, from contrā against + valēre to be strong
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 countervail
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper