According to digopaul, the idea of counteracting refers to facing something, resisting, neutralizing or minimizing its effect.
For example: “To counteract the impact caused by the news of the increase in unemployment, the government announced an infrastructure works plan”, “Our team did not manage to counteract the good work of the rival strikers”, “I think that the scientists should study in detail how to counteract the consequences of global warming”.
We can easily understand what the concept of countering refers to if we analyze how an antidote works. Antidotes are substances that are responsible for nullifying the effects produced by a toxin or poison: that is, they counteract them. Therefore, if a person is bitten by a poisonous viper, he should go to a medical center to receive an antidote. This substance will allow the body to counteract the action of the poison.
A restaurant fined for poor health conditions, for its part, can try to counteract the negative effect of this sanction with an advertising campaign that highlights the natural benefits of the food it serves.
Problems related to the corporate image of a person or a company have become increasingly popular with the advance and massification of social networks. Thanks to the possibility of issuing a report from almost any device with an Internet connection, easily and immediately, more and more people decide to air their dissatisfaction at work instead of trying to resolve it within the company.
Faced with a public accusation by an employee, there is little an employer can do to counteract the wave of criticism that will surely reach them through social networks and part of the press. We are in an era in which it is very clear that nobody wants to be on the losing side, regardless of whether they are right: the Internet brings out the worst in cowardly beings, since it gives them a voice and a vote without requiring them to remove their masks, turning them into the superheroes who would never rescue anyone but themselves.
The notion can also appear when an opposition between two elements is registered or when a dispute exists. Two basketball (basketball) teams facing each other will, in this setting, try to counteract their respective strengths. If one of the teams is characterized by the speed of its players and the fast pace that it imposes on the game, its rival will seek to counteract these characteristics by making the plays as long and slow as possible.
The etymological origin of the term to counteract is found in the Latin words contra and restāre. The first of these is a preposition that can be translated as “in front of, on the opposite side of, contrary to, towards”; with respect to the second, it is a verb that means “to resist, to oppose, to resist, to stand still, to stop, to stay (in), to remain”.
From what was stated in the previous paragraph we obtain all the necessary data to understand the meaning of this word and its different nuances. Returning to the concept of antidote, for example, we can say that it is a chemical substance that has the ability to resist the effect of a chemical, a toxin or a poison, to face them, oppose them.
Among the most common synonyms of this term, we find the following: counterbalance, palliate, confront, neutralize, compensate and confront, in addition to some of the words exposed in the analysis of its etymology. Outside of arrostrar, which is defined as “facing dangers without cowardice, coming face to face, tolerating an unpleasant thing”, the others are of everyday use.