/ ˈkaʊntə(r); NAmE / noun , verb , adverb
a long flat surface over which goods are sold or business is done in a shop / store, bank, etc. :
I asked the woman behind the counter if they had any postcards.
( especially NAmE ) = worktop
a small disc used for playing or scoring in some board games
—picture at backgammon
—see also bargaining counter
(especially in compounds) an electronic device for counting sth :
The needle on the rev counter soared.
—see also Geiger counter
—compare bean counter
[ usually sing. ] counter (to sb/sth) ( formal ) a response to sb/sth that opposes their ideas, position, etc. :
The employers' association was seen as a counter to union power.
- over the counter
- under the counter
counter (sb/sth) (with sth) to reply to sb by trying to prove that what they said is not true :
[ vn ]
Such arguments are not easily countered.
[ v that ]
I tried to argue but he countered that the plans were not yet finished.
[also v speech , v ]
[ vn ] to do sth to reduce or prevent the bad effects of sth
SYN counteract :
Businesses would like to see new laws to counter late payments of debts.
counter to sth in the opposite direction to sth; in opposition to sth :
The government's plans run counter to agreed European policy on this issue.
noun senses 1 to 4 Middle English (in sense 3): from Old French conteor , from medieval Latin computatorium , from Latin computare calculate, from com- together + putare to settle (an account).
noun sense 5 and verb adjective late Middle English : from Old French contre , from Latin contra against, or directly from counter- .