Definition of countervail in English:


Syllabification: coun·ter·vail
Pronunciation: /ˌkountərˈvāl


[with object] (usually as adjective countervailing)
  • Offset the effect of (something) by countering it with something of equal force: the dominance of the party was mediated by a number of countervailing factors
    More example sentences
    • Any particular discretionary matter may be subject to countervailing matters of equal or greater weight.
    • But we are concerned because there is a strong presidency without countervailing institutions.
    • Integrity in promise-keeping, at times, confronts countervailing considerations of human welfare.


late Middle English (in the sense 'be equivalent to in value, compensate for'): from Anglo-Norman French contrevaloir, from Latin contra valere 'be of worth against'.

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