Definition of counter noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkaʊntə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkaʊntər//
    In the kitchen, Types of stores, In the store
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  1. 1  a long flat surface over which goods are sold or business is done in a shop/store, bank, etc. I asked the woman behind the counter if they had any postcards. Wordfinderassistant, buy, counter, display, fitting room, promotion, sale, shop, store, till See related entries: Types of stores, In the store
  2. 2(also countertop) (both North American English) (British English worktop, work surface) a flat surface in a kitchen for preparing food on See related entries: In the kitchen
  3. 3a small disc used for playing or scoring in some board games see also bargaining counter
  4. 4(especially in compounds) an electronic device for counting something The needle on the rev counter soared. You need to reset the counter. see also Geiger counter compare bean counter
  5. 5a person who counts something, for example votes in an election You can get computers to help the counters to count the votes.
  6. 6[usually singular] counter (to somebody/something) (formal) a response to somebody/something that opposes their ideas, position, etc. The employers' association was seen as a counter to union power.
  7. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 4 Middle English (in sense (3)): from Old French conteor, from medieval Latin computatorium, from Latin computare ‘calculate’, from com- ‘together’ + putare ‘to settle (an account)’. noun sense 5 late Middle English: from Old French contre, from Latin contra ‘against’, or directly from counter-.Extra examples He pushed the money across the counter to her. He works at the meat counter. Mary served behind the counter at Bacon’s for a few hours a week. She handed me my coffee over the counter. She put her bags down on the kitchen counter. The assistant behind the counter gave a curt nod. The barman wiped down the counter in silence. The government’s programme should be an effective counter to unemployment. The kitchen had black marble counter tops. There was a line of people waiting at the checkout counter. They sat on high stools at the bar counter. This kind of medication cannot be bought over the counter. all the goods on the counter an airline check-in counter an effective counter to the blandness of modern culture post office counter staffIdioms goods, especially medicines, for sale over the counter can be bought without a prescription (= written permission from a doctor to buy a medicine) or special licence These tablets are available over the counter. see also over-the-counter See related entries: Medication, In the store goods that are bought or sold under the counter are sold secretly and sometimes illegally Pornography may be legally banned but it is still available under the counter. See related entries: Committing crime, In the store
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: counter