Dictionary Definition

counteroffensive n : a large scale offensive (more than a counterattack) undertaken by a defending force to seize the initiative from an attacking force

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An attack made in response to a previous offensive, and intended to stop it.


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.
counteroffensive in Czech: Protiútok
counteroffensive in French: Contre-attaque (militaire)
counteroffensive in Kurdish: Perçehelmet
counteroffensive in Finnish: Vastahyökkäys
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