[ koun-ter-veyl ]
/ ˌkaʊn tərˈveɪl /

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

to be of equal force in opposition; avail.

Origin of countervail

1350–1400; Middle English contrevailen<Anglo-French countrevail-, tonic stem (subjunctive) of countrevaloir to equal, be comparable to <Latin phrase contrā valēre to be of worth against (someone or something). See counter-, -valent

OTHER WORDS FROM countervail

un·coun·ter·vailed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for countervail

British Dictionary definitions for countervail

/ (ˌkaʊntəˈveɪl, ˈkaʊntəˌveɪl) /


(when intr, usually foll by against) to act or act against with equal power or force
(tr) to make up for; compensate; offset

Word Origin for countervail

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