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[koun-ter-akt] /ˌkaʊn tərˈækt/
verb (used with object)
to act in opposition to; frustrate by contrary action.
Origin of counteract
1670-80; counter- + act
Related forms
counteractant, adjective
counteracter, counteractor, noun
counteractingly, adverb
counteraction, noun
counteractive, adjective
counteractively, adverb
noncounteractive, adjective
uncounteracted, adjective
neutralize, counterbalance, contravene, thwart. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for counteract
  • We need an action group that will work to counteract any and all purveyors of sloppy thinking in today's world.
  • Too often tofu is bland and boring, and its benefits cannot readily counteract this.
  • They are placed in interdisciplinary settings to counteract the narrowness of graduate training.
  • Monetary policy cannot counteract this, since all three are pegged to the euro.
  • The reader also inquired as to what doctors recommend astronauts do to counteract these effects.
  • One floor below, superconducting electromagnets counteract the downward tug of the platinum-iridium.
  • The cuts were intended to counteract the tightening credit market and spur growth.
  • Again, having a distinguished research record and being active in national organizations can help to counteract this.
  • So although old people tend to be less healthy than younger ones, their cheerfulness may help counteract their crumbliness.
  • Ecotourism's primary aim is to counteract the negative effects of human development.
British Dictionary definitions for counteract


(transitive) to oppose, neutralize, or mitigate the effects of by contrary action; check
Derived Forms
counteraction, noun
counteractive, adjective
counteractively, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for counteract

1670s, from counter- + act (v.). Related: Counteracted; counteracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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