Definition of countersign in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkoun(t)ərˌsīn/


[with object]
Add a signature to (a document already signed by another person): each check had to be signed and countersigned
More example sentences
  • The Proclamation which you have just heard read by the Governor-General's Official Secretary was countersigned by Malcolm Fraser.
  • Finally, we signed and countersigned a declaration that under no circumstances would we dive deeper than 6m, nor deviate from the officially designated route as indicated by the phosphorescent orange guide ropes.
  • The Pharmacy Department requires that all Surfactant orders be signed or countersigned by the staff neonatologist.


A signal or password given in reply to a soldier on guard.
Example sentences
  • If two soldiers have the day's password and countersign, they can get physically close enough to kill each other without knowing that their uniforms don't match or their language isn't even the same.
  • In the dark, Smalls pretended to be the captain and, from his previous experiences, was able to provide all the correct countersigns to challenges from the various harbor fortifications.
  • Practice for issuing and using the parole varied over time and between armies: often it was paired with a countersign, uttered in response.



Pronunciation: /ˌkoun(t)ərˈsiɡnəCHər/
Example sentences
  • Then, when you later present it at the cashier, you have to authenticate your own signature with another of your own signature - a countersignature - otherwise the legal and economical value of the cheque is null.
  • All have many years of training and experience and no decision can be made without the countersignature of a senior colleague.
  • The prior use of the figure £4.56 for the period between 31st January 2000 and the date of countersignature was not touched on in the wording of the letter.


Late 16th century (as a noun): from French contresigner (verb), contresigne (noun), from Italian contrassegno, based on Latin signum 'sign'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: coun·ter·sign

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