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[koun-ter-pruh-duhk-tiv] /ˌkaʊn tər prəˈdʌk tɪv/
thwarting the achievement of an intended goal; tending to defeat one's purpose:
Living on credit while trying to save money is counterproductive.
Origin of counterproductive
1960-65; counter- + productive
Related forms
counterproductively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for counterproductive
  • The plastic industry argues that bans and taxes are counterproductive.
  • Setting your mind on a goal may be counterproductive.
  • In fact, it becomes counterproductive as a group becomes more established.
  • Otherwise, feeding them up with technology must be counterproductive.
  • Head-on fights are counterproductive with fearful dogs because conflict reinforces the fearful mindset.
  • Pink points to studies that show creating incentives can be counterproductive.
  • They win by compelling empires into counterproductive overspending.
  • The top promoters argued that it would be counterproductive to ban boxing.
  • To scare or intimidate them will end up being counterproductive.
  • Should it ever mutate into a counterproductive form, reform becomes necessary.
British Dictionary definitions for counterproductive


tending to hinder or act against the achievement of an aim
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 counterproductive

also counter-productive, counter productive, 1920, American English, from counter- + productive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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