countervailing meaning, countervailing definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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A countervailing force, power, or opinion is one which is of equal strength to another one but is its opposite or opposes it.  
FORMAL      adj   ADJ n  
Their strategy is expansionist and imperialist, and it is greatest in effect, of course, when there is no countervailing power...     
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"