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mid-14c., "table where a money lender does business," from Old French contouer, comptoir (14c.) "counting room, table of a bank," from Medieval Latin computatorium "place of accounts," from Latin computatus, past participle of computare (see compute). Generalized 19c. from banks to shops, then extended to display cases for goods. Phrase under the counter is from 1926.
"go against," late 14c., from Old French countre "facing opposite" (see counter-). Related: Countered; countering. As an adverb, from mid-15c.; as an adjective, from 1590s.
mid-14c., from Old French conter "add up," but also "tell a story," from Latin computare (see compute). Related: Counted; counting. Modern French differentiates compter "to count" and conter "to tell," but they are cognates.
title of nobility, c.1300, from Anglo-French counte (Old French conte), from Latin comitem (nominative comes) "companion, attendant," the Roman term for a provincial governor, from com- "with" (see com-) + stem of ire "to go" (see ion). The term was used in Anglo-French to render Old English eorl, but the word was never truly naturalized and mainly was used with reference to foreign titles.
word-forming element meaning "against; in return; corresponding," from Anglo-French countre-, French contre-, from Latin contra "opposite, contrary to, against, in return," also used as a prefix (see contra-).
v. count·ed, count·ing, counts
To name or list the units of a group or collection one by one in order to determine a total. n.
The act of counting or calculating.
The totality of specific items in a particular sample.
counter count·er (koun'tər)
One that counts, especially an electronic or mechanical device that automatically counts occurrences or repetitions of phenomena or events.
Contrary; opposite; opposing: countertransport.
Corresponding; complementary: counterincision.