counter Definition

  • 1a long flat surface over which goods are sold or business is transacted in a shop or bank
  • 2a small disc used in board games for keeping the score or as a place marker
  • 3a person or thing that opposes another or acts against something

Using counter: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "counter" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I waited at the counter for fifteen minutes before being served.

  • Example

    The counter was covered in various sweets and pastries.

  • Example

    We use counters to keep track of our scores in the game.

  • Example

    The opposition party has been a strong counter to the current administration.

  • Example

    The new evidence presented by the defense was a strong counter to the prosecution's case.

counter Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for counter

Idioms Using counter

  • keep/lose count

    to maintain or fail to maintain an accurate record of something


    I lost count of how many times I've watched this movie.

  • counter to expectations

    opposite or contrary to what was expected


    Her performance was counter to expectations, as she exceeded everyone's predictions.

  • an attack made in response to an attack by an enemy or opponent


    The team launched a counter attack after losing possession of the ball.

Phrases with counter

  • available for purchase without a prescription


    You can buy this medicine over the counter at any pharmacy.

  • done secretly or illegally


    He sold alcohol under the counter during the prohibition era.

  • to sign a document already signed by someone else, in order to confirm its authenticity


    The contract must be countersigned by both parties before it becomes valid.

Origins of counter

from Old French 'comptoir', from Latin 'computare', meaning 'to calculate'


Summary: counter in Brief

The term 'counter' [ˈkaʊntər] refers to a flat surface used for business transactions or selling goods, as well as a small disc used in board games. It can also denote a person or thing that opposes or acts against something. The phrase 'over the counter' means available without a prescription, while 'under the counter' means done secretly or illegally. 'Counter' extends into idioms like 'keep/lose count,' and 'counter to expectations,' denoting opposites or contrary actions.

How do native speakers use this expression?