There are 3 definitions of counter in English:

counter1

Line breaks: coun|ter
Pronunciation: /ˈkaʊntə
 
/

noun

1A long flat-topped fitment across which business is conducted in a shop or bank or refreshments are served in a cafeteria.
More example sentences
  • Having eaten these we were hard pressed to ignore the shop counter as we departed.
  • Some supporters are also signing petitions displayed on the counters of shops and other businesses throughout the city centre.
  • While you go around various car accessories shop stalls and insurance counters, children'll have fun at painting and quiz contests.
1.1North American A worktop.
More example sentences
  • Clearing the counters of food items and shoving dishes into the sink, I ran a wet cloth over the various surfaces to remove crumbs and spills.
  • Her mother slammed the plates down on the countertop, wondrously not breaking them but making a mess as Megan's uneaten food spilled on the counter.
  • Kristen said sadly putting her drink on the counter.
Synonyms
worktop, work surface, worktable, table, bench, buffet, top, horizontal surface; checkout, bar, stand
2A small disc used in board games for keeping the score or as a place marker.
More example sentences
  • It was used for making pendants, finger rings, playing counters, dice and even spindle whorls.
  • According to the rules you need nothing more than your brain and a pack of cards, so it's a lot cheaper than the usual awful party games that cost £29.99 for a box, three dice and six counters.
  • The game, played with counters and dice, is already proving a big hit - so much so that more copies are being produced to be distributed next year.
Synonyms
token, chip, disc, jetton; piece, man, marker, wafer; North Americancheck
2.1A token representing a coin.
More example sentences
  • The name merels comes from the low Latin word merrelus, meaning a ‘token, counter or coin’.
2.2A factor used to give one party an advantage in negotiations: the proposal has become a crucial bargaining counter over prices
3A device used for counting: the counter tells you how many pictures you have taken
More example sentences
  • Some sort of centrifugal device that only triggered the counter if it was activated by the centrifugal force of the drum turning.
  • All microswitches and counters were controlled by a central power source connected to a digital timer set to turn on one hour after sunset and turn off one hour before sunrise.
  • The novelty of the electronic counter at the [Overbridge] traffic signal is yet to wear off, and the constables posted at the busy junction seem to be a more relaxed lot these days.
3.1A person who counts something, for example votes in an election.
More example sentences
  • Members of the election committee, ballot counters and voting station officials have all been trained on their individual functions and are prepared for the election.
  • It was only a few hours after the general election results that the counters were again sifting through ballot papers.
  • It could even make things worse, by adding more translation layers between the voters and the vote counters and preventing recounts.
3.2 Physics An apparatus used for counting individual ionizing particles or events.
More example sentences
  • The system also provides for designating the general purpose counters to monitor selected events in programs.
  • A counter in the clock tracks the time it takes for most of the atoms to make the shift.
  • One was a particle counter installed on the second layer of the Whipple shield protecting the spacecraft's main body.

Origin

Middle English (in sense 2): from Old French conteor, from medieval Latin computatorium, from Latin computare (see compute).

Phrases

behind the counter

Serving in a shop or bank: he drove to the store and flirted with two sisters behind the counter
More example sentences
  • The girl behind the counter in the shop was shutting up for the long afternoon lull.
  • The people behind the counter told us the shop had been there for one month.
  • He was such a regular of the Flavas fried chicken shop that he greeted the confused man behind the counter like an old friend.

over the counter

By ordinary retail purchase, with no need for a prescription or licence: [as modifier]: over-the-counter medicines
More example sentences
  • They are advertised, marketed, and sold on the Internet, as well as over the counter in ordinary retail shops.
  • Patients derive enough benefit from over the counter cough medicines to purchase them in the first place and to keep returning for more.
  • Is there any allergy medicine I can buy over the counter that won't affect my blood pressure or my prostate?
(Of share transactions) taking place outside the stock exchange system.
More example sentences
  • The company's stock is not listed on any stock exchange, but it is traded over the counter.
  • After numerous downgradings, it now trades over the counter for a nickel a share.

under the counter (or table)

(With reference to goods bought or sold) surreptitiously and typically illegally: hard porn is legally banned, but still available under the counter [as modifier]: an under-the-counter deal
More example sentences
  • There is also a huge market for smuggled cigarettes with many legitimate retailers selling them under the counter.
  • The Chinatown store that sold them under the table recently went out of business.
  • Children in our country are exposed to many more sexual images in television ads - especially those selling beer - than in raunchy magazines sold under the counter.

Definition of counter in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌimpyəˈdisitē
noun
lack of modesty

There are 3 definitions of counter in English:

counter2

Line breaks: coun|ter
Pronunciation: /ˈkaʊntə
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Speak or act in opposition to: the second argument is more difficult to counter
More example sentences
  • A losing side sometimes falls into a trap where they tend to counter the opposition instead of dictating the game.
  • They speak about self-reliance and countering the invasion of a global economy by humble movement like the one involving the manufacture of toilet soap.
  • European and Arab opposition may be countered by possible strong support from Russia.
1.1 [no object] Respond to hostile speech or action: the possibility of the enemy being able to counter with similar missiles was remote
More example sentences
  • If it were just on private television, then I'd say, great, the best way to fight abuse of the freedom of speech, is to counter with better speech.
  • Those of us who have fought for Inuit rights would counter with this: Can you eat your degrees when you are starving?
  • One must be able to withstand both the physical and mental attacks directed towards them, and be able to counter with their own attacks.
Synonyms
parry, hit back at, answer, respond to, retort to, contradict, negate; ward off, fend off, stave off, deflect, rebuff, rebut, repel, repulse, hold at bay; combat, fight, attack, tackle, confront, stand up to, put up a fight against, oppose, resist, dispute, argue against; counteract
informal shoot full of holes, blow sky high
formal gainsay
1.2 [no object] Boxing Give a return blow while parrying: he countered with a left hook
More example sentences
  • He moved with impressive grace and skill, angling away from Hernandez's on rushes and countering effectively with uppercuts, straight right hands, and left hooks.
  • Con stayed on the defensive, blocking and parrying, and occasionally countering when he thought there was an opening.
  • I blocked that, and countered with a blow to the ribs.

adverb

(counter to) Back to top  
In the opposite direction or in opposition to: his writing ran counter to the dominant trends of the decade
More example sentences
  • The el zar or Force of Estrangement (F.O.E.) is counter juxtaposed to the true God, the God of oneness.
  • So that sort of runs counter to what you're saying, doesn't it?
  • North Korea's attitude obviously runs counter to its commitment made in the joint statement.
Synonyms
against, in opposition to, contrary to, at variance with, in defiance of, in contravention of, contrarily, contrariwise, conversely; against the tide, in the opposite direction, in the reverse direction, in the wrong direction

adjective

Back to top  
Responding to something of the same kind, especially in opposition: after years of argument and counter argument there is no conclusive answer See also counter-.
More example sentences
  • There are, however, juicy counter arguments to the highest value use theory, the most obvious being that we can't all grow grapes.
  • They have not given us any counter argument to support their concerns.
  • Such views are clearly deeply held, but we feel that there are strong counter arguments.
Synonyms

noun

Back to top  
1 [usually in singular] A thing which opposes or prevents something else: the stimulus to employers' organization was partly a counter to growing union power
More example sentences
  • These imagined and real mothers provide an important counter to the negative images of black womanhood circulated in other media.
  • We can expect an increase in enemy countermobility operations as a counter to our superiority in information and weapons technology.
  • Here, they proclaimed, was the incarnation of the ideal of beauty who would provide a healthy counter to those skeletal harridans who were terrorising young girls towards a bony grave.
1.1An answer to an argument or criticism: he anticipates an objection and plans his counter
1.2 Boxing A blow given while parrying; a counterpunch.
More example sentences
  • His other concern is that if Lewis throws the lazy jab which he is prone to doing, a Tyson right hand counter could end matters there and then.
  • He was open to a counter and Chi connected with a great right to the body and a big left uppercut that sent Brodie down to the canvas and looking in pain.
  • It is later revealed that a short, chopping right hand counter by Clay catches Liston squarely.
2The curved part of the stern of a ship projecting aft above the waterline.
3 Printing The white space enclosed by a letter such as O or c.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French contre, from Latin contra 'against', or directly from counter-.

Phrases

go (or British hunt or run) counter

Run or ride against the direction taken by a quarry.

Definition of counter in:

There are 3 definitions of counter in English:

counter3

Line breaks: coun|ter
Pronunciation: /ˈkaʊntə
 
/

noun

The back part of a shoe or boot, enclosing the heel.
More example sentences
  • Also, make an effort to look for shoes with adequate heel counters since they'll help you maintain good heel position when the shoe contacts the ground.
  • The other most important feature is the heel counter on my new shoe.
  • Footwear should have a soft insole, heel counter and Velcro straps.

Origin

mid 19th century: abbreviation of counterfort 'buttress', from French contrefort.

Definition of counter in: