"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[n. koun-ter-uh-tak; v. koun-ter-uh-tak, koun-ter-uh-tak] /n. ˈkaʊn tər əˌtæk; v. ˌkaʊn tər əˈtæk, ˈkaʊn tər əˌtæk/
an attack made as an offset or reply to another attack.
Military. an attack by a ground combat unit to drive back an enemy attack.
verb (used with object)
to make a counterattack against.
verb (used without object)
to deliver a counterattack.
Origin of counterattack
1915-20; counter- + attack Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for counterattack
  • Consider the counterattack he executed this morning.
  • Vaccination provides a training exercise that teaches the immune system how to muster a swift counterattack.
  • Meanwhile the sub would have lost its surprise and be subject to counterattack.
  • So constantly being on defense and having to sort of counterattack the things that they say.
  • And the deep-pocketed opposition now has the opening it needs to launch a counterattack.
  • Readers made uncomfortable by all this nativist and racist opinion will no doubt find it easy to counterattack.
  • Meanwhile, five doses of rabies vaccine given over four weeks are the bullets that complete the counterattack.
  • It is a story of the rise of a moderate coalition and its counterattack against extremism.
  • Provoked by the brutal counterattack, the protesters abandoned their peaceful posture and fought back.
  • But if the randomness of the crime is rare, the counterattack has been groundbreaking.
British Dictionary definitions for counterattack


an attack in response to an attack
to make a counterattack (against)
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 counterattack

also counter-attack, 1882, from counter- + attack (n.); as two words from early 19c. The verb is recorded from 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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