AskDefine | Define counterattack

Dictionary Definition



1 an attack by a defending force against an attacking enemy force in order to regain lost ground or cut off enemy advance units etc. [syn: countermove]
2 (chess) an attack that is intended to counter the opponent's advantage in another part of the board [syn: counterplay] v : make a counterattack [syn: counterstrike]

User Contributed Dictionary



Extensive Definition

A counterattack is a military tactic used by defending forces when under attack by an enemy force. During their assault, the attackers may have become vulnerable through exhaustion, complacency, or placing themselves in unfavorable conditions. At the right moment, the defenders aggressively charge out of their fortifications, meeting and stunning their attackers directly, and gain the initiative. This can break a siege or change the tide of a battle. However, if the wrong moment is chosen, or a counterattack is poorly executed, a military disaster could result for the defending side, since the defenders are no longer protected by their fortifications.
counterattack in Czech: Protiútok
counterattack in French: Contre-attaque (militaire)
counterattack in Kurdish: Perçehelmet
counterattack in Finnish: Vastahyökkäys

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aggravated assault, aggression, amphibious attack, armed assault, assailing, assailment, assault, attack, backfire, banzai attack, blitz, blitzkrieg, breakthrough, charge, comeback, counterblast, counterblow, counterfire, counterinsurgency, countermeasure, counteroffensive, counterrevolution, counterstep, counterstroke, coup de main, crippling attack, dead set at, defense, descent on, diversion, diversionary attack, drive, flank attack, frontal attack, gas attack, head-on attack, infiltration, lightning attack, lightning war, mass attack, megadeath, mugging, offense, offensive, onset, onslaught, overkill, panzer warfare, push, retort, run against, run at, rush, sally, shock tactics, sortie, strike, unprovoked assault
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