counsel (v.) Look up counsel at
late 13c., from Old French conseiller "to advise, counsel," from Latin consiliari, from consilium "plan, opinion" (see counsel (n.)). Related: Counseled. Counseling "giving professional advice on social or psychological problems" dates from 1940.
counsellor (n.) Look up counsellor at
early 13c., from Old French conseillier (Modern French conseiller), from Latin consilator, agent noun from consiliare, from consilium (see counsel (v.)). Meaning "one who gives professional legal advice" is from 1530s. Psychological sense (marriage counsellor, etc., is from 1940).
counselor (n.) Look up counselor at
see counsellor.
count (v.) Look up count at
mid-14c., from Old French conter "add up," but also "tell a story," from Latin computare (see compute). Related: Counted; counting. Modern French differentiates compter "to count" and conter "to tell," but they are cognates.
count (n.) Look up count at
title of nobility, c. 1300, from Anglo-French counte (Old French conte), from Latin comitem (nominative comes) "companion, attendant," the Roman term for a provincial governor, from com- "with" (see com-) + stem of ire "to go" (see ion). The term was used in Anglo-French to render Old English eorl, but the word was never truly naturalized and mainly was used with reference to foreign titles.
countdown (n.) Look up countdown at
1953, American English, in early use especially of launches of rockets or missiles, from count (v.) + down.
countenance (n.) Look up countenance at
mid-13c., from Old French contenance "demeanor, bearing, conduct," from Latin continentia "restraint, abstemiousness, moderation," literally "way one contains oneself," from continentem, present participle of continere (see contain). Meaning evolving Middle English from "appearance" to "facial expression betraying a state of mind," to "face" itself (late 14c.).
countenance (v.) Look up countenance at
late 15c., "to behave or act," from countenance (n.). Sense of "to favor, patronize" is from 1560s, from notion of "to look upon with sanction or smiles." Related: Countenanced; countenancing.
counter (n.) Look up counter at
mid-14c., "table where a money lender does business," from Old French contouer, comptoir (14c.) "counting room, table of a bank," from Medieval Latin computatorium "place of accounts," from Latin computatus, past participle of computare (see compute). Generalized 19c. from banks to shops, then extended to display cases for goods. Phrase under the counter is from 1926.
counter (v.) Look up counter at
"go against," late 14c., from Old French countre "facing opposite" (see counter-). Related: Countered; countering. As an adverb, from mid-15c.; as an adjective, from 1590s.
Counter Reformation Look up Counter Reformation at
1840, from counter- + Reformation.
counter- Look up counter- at
word-forming element meaning "against; in return; corresponding," from Anglo-French countre-, French contre-, from Latin contra "opposite, contrary to, against, in return," also used as a prefix (see contra-).
counteract (v.) Look up counteract at
1670s, from counter- + act (v.). Related: Counteracted; counteracting.
counterargument (n.) Look up counterargument at
1862, from counter- + argument.
counterattack (n.) Look up counterattack at
also counter-attack, 1882, from counter- + attack (n.); as two words from early 19c. The verb is recorded from 1916.
counterbalance (v.) Look up counterbalance at
1570s, from counter- + balance (v.), in reference to scales. Figurative use dates from 1630s. As a noun, from c. 1600.
counterclockwise (adj., adv.) Look up counterclockwise at
1870, also counter-clockwise; from counter- + clockwise.
counterculture (n.) Look up counterculture at
also counter-culture, counter culture, 1968, from counter- + culture (q.v.). Popularized by, and perhaps coined in, the book "The Making of a Counter Culture" by Theodore Roszak. As an adjective by 1972.
counterfactual (adj.) Look up counterfactual at
1946, from counter- + factual.
counterfeit (v.) Look up counterfeit at
late 13c., from Old French contrefait "imitated" (Modern French contrefait), past participle of contrefaire "imitate," from contre- "against" (see contra-) + faire "to make, to do" (from Latin facere; see factitious). Medieval Latin contrafactio meant "setting in opposition or contrast." Related: Counterfeited; counterfeiting. The noun and adjective are from late 14c.
counterinsurgency (n.) Look up counterinsurgency at
1962, from counter- + insurgency.
counterintelligence (n.) Look up counterintelligence at
also counter-intelligence, 1940, from counter- + intelligence.
counterintuitive (adj.) Look up counterintuitive at
also counter-intuitive, 1955, from counter- + intuitive.
countermand (v.) Look up countermand at
early 15c., from Old French contremander "reverse an order or command" (13c.), from contre- "against" (see contra-) + mander, from Latin mandare "to order" (see mandate (n.)). Related: Countermanded; countermanding.
countermeasure (n.) Look up countermeasure at
1923, from counter- + measure (n.).
counteroffer (n.) Look up counteroffer at
1788, from counter- + offer (n.).
counterpane (n.) Look up counterpane at
"outer covering of a bed," c. 1600, alteration of earlier counterpoynte (mid-15c.; see counterpoint) on model of Middle French pan, Latin pannus "cloth" (see pane).
counterpart (n.) Look up counterpart at
mid-15c., originally countre part "duplicate of a legal document," from Middle French contrepartie, from contre "facing, opposite" (see contra-) + partie "copy of a person or thing," originally fem. past participle of partir "to divide" (see party (n.)).
counterpoint (n.) Look up counterpoint at
early 15c., of stitching, from Old French cuilte contrepointe "quilt stitched through and through," altered from coute pointe, from Medieval Latin culcita puncta "quilted mattress," from Latin culcita "cushion" + puncta, fem. past participle of pungere "to prick, stab" (see pungent).

Of music, mid-15c., from Old French contrepoint, from Medieval Latin cantus contrapunctus, from contrapunctum, from Latin contra + puncta, with reference to the indication of musical notes by "pricking" with a pointed pen over or under the original melody on a manuscript.
counterpoise (n.) Look up counterpoise at
early 15c., from Old French contrepois (Modern French contrepoids), from contre- "against" (see contra-) + peis, from Latin pensum "weight," noun use of neuter past participle of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant).
counterproductive (adj.) Look up counterproductive at
also counter-productive, counter productive, 1920, American English, from counter- + productive.
counterrevolution (n.) Look up counterrevolution at
also counter-revolution, 1791, from counter- + revolution. First recorded in U.S. with reference to American Revolution.
countersign (n.) Look up countersign at
1590s, from Middle French contresigne, from contre- "against" (see contra-) + signe "sign" (see sign (n.)).
countertop (n.) Look up countertop at
1878, from counter (n.) + top (n.1).
countervail (v.) Look up countervail at
late 14c., "to be worth as much as," also "to prevail against," from Anglo-French countrevaloir, Old French contrevaloir "to be effective against, be comparable to," from Latin phrase contra valere "to be worth against" (see contra- and valiant). Related: Countervailing.
countess (n.) Look up countess at
mid-12c., adopted in Anglo-French for "the wife of an earl," from Medieval Latin cometissa, fem. of Latin comes "count" (see count (n.)).
countless (adj.) Look up countless at
"numberless, uncountable," 1580s, from count (v.) + -less.
countrified (adj.) Look up countrified at
1650s, from country + past participle form of -fy.
country (n.) Look up country at
mid-13c., "district, native land," from Old French contree, from Vulgar Latin *(terra) contrata "(land) lying opposite," or "(land) spread before one," from Latin contra "opposite, against" (see contra-). Sense narrowed 1520s to rural areas, as opposed to cities. Replaced Old English land. As an adjective from late 14c. First record of country-and-western music style is from 1942. Country club first recorded 1886. Country mile "a long way" is from 1915, American English.
countryman (n.) Look up countryman at
late 13c., from country + man (n.).
countryside (n.) Look up countryside at
mid-15c., literally "one side of a country" (a valley, a mountain range, etc.), from country + side (n.); hence, "any tract of land having a natural unity" (1727).
county (n.) Look up county at
c. 1300, from Anglo-French counte, from Late Latin comitatus "jurisdiction of a count," from Latin comes (see count (n.)); replaced Old English scir "shire."
coup (n.) Look up coup at
c. 1400, "a blow," from Old French coup, colp "a blow, strike" (12c.), from Medieval Latin colpus, from Vulgar Latin colapus, from Latin colaphus "a cuff, box on the ear," from Greek kolaphos "a blow, buffet, punch, slap," "a lowly word without clear etymology" [Beekes]. Meaning "a sudden decisive act" is 1852, short for coup d'etat. In Modern French the word is a workhorse, describing everything from a pat on the back to a whipping, and is used as well of thunder, gusts of wind, gunshots, and chess moves.
coup d'etat (n.) Look up coup d'etat at
1640s, from French coup d'étate, literally "stroke of the state" (see coup). Technically any sudden, decisive political act but popularly restricted to the overthrow of a government.
coup de foudre (n.) Look up coup de foudre at
1779, from French coup de foudre, literally "stroke of lightning," also "love at first sight" (see coup).
coup de grace (n.) Look up coup de grace at
1690s, from French coup de grâce, literally "stroke of grace;" the merciful death-blow that ends another's suffering (see coup).
coupe (n.) Look up coupe at
1834, from French coupe (18c.), noun use of past participle of couper "to cut (in half);" see coup. Modern use is from early 19c. carrosse coupe "cut-off carriage," a shorter version of the berlin, minus the back seat. First applied to closed two-door automobiles 1897.
couple (n.) Look up couple at
late 13c., from Old French cople "married couple, lovers" (12c., Modern French couple), from Latin copula "tie, connection," from PIE *ko-ap-, from *ko(m)- "together" + *ap- "to take, reach." Meaning broadened mid-14c. to "any two things."
couple (v.) Look up couple at
c. 1200, from Old French copler, from cople (see couple (n.)). Related: Coupled; coupling.
couplet (n.) Look up couplet at
1570s, in poetry, from French couplet (mid-14c.), a diminutive of couple (see couple (n.)). In music, from 1876.