counter vail


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.

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

uncountervailed, adjective

1. counterbalance, counterpoise, neutralize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
countervail (ˌkaʊntəˈveɪl, ˈkaʊntəˌveɪl)
vb (when intr, usually foll by against)
1.  to act or act against with equal power or force
2.  (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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "to be worth as much as," also "to prevail against," from Anglo-Fr. countrevaloir, O.Fr. contrevaloir, from L. phrase contra valere "to be worth against" (see contra and valiant). Related: Countervailing (1610s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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