Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


 (koun′tər-ĭn-to͞o′ĭ-tĭv, -tyo͞o′-)
Contrary to what intuition or common sense would indicate: "Scientists made clear what may at first seem counterintuitive, that the capacity to be pleasant toward a fellow creature is ... hard work" (Natalie Angier).

coun′ter·in·tu′i·tive·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (of an idea, proposal, etc) seemingly contrary to common sense
2. (Military) intelligence collected about enemy espionage
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌkaʊn tər ɪnˈtu ɪ tɪv, -ˈtyu-)

counter to what intuition would lead one to expect.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.counterintuitive - contrary to what common sense would suggest
unreasonable - not reasonable; not showing good judgment
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Stripping down along your nearest boulevard might be counterintuitive in currently flooding Manila, but I'm sure this will all be useful after the storm.
Here's a counterintuitive warning be skeptical of pro-gun stuff coming from the U.S.
But from time to time, Brady does something counterintuitive that sets him apart from other athletes.
Recent concerns over new Battle Royale introductions from the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises impacting Fortnite/PUBG, and in turn accessory sales, are overblown and counterintuitive, Lake Street analyst Mark Argento tells investors in a research note.
Asked in 2008 if he was behind such a "hosing" policy, Mr Malthouse replied: "We certainly instituted a policy of making life - it sounds counterintuitive and cruel - more uncomfortable, that is absolutely right." He added: "...we analysed the problem, and one of the issues was that in many ways - it sounds counterintuitive - life was too comfortable on the street.
Although later further investigations are also carried out on counterintuitive behavior of pin-ended beams [2-4], as it is shown by other studies [5-7], the pin-ended condition is not essential and similar behaviors of this sort may be expected to occur in calculations for elastic-plastic beams with fully clamped ends under impulsive loading.
Allowing all those disparate artistic impressions to collide, as she does on Roll Like a Wheel, may seem counterintuitive, but Dashew doesn't see it that way.
Josh: Avoiding stress is counterintuitive. Research shows paying attention to your stress is actually a positive way to deal with it.
After a second death occurred on the road earlier this year when off-duty police sergeant Louise Lucas, from Cardiff, was hit by a bus, assistant senior Swansea Coroner Colin Phillips, who is overseeing the inquest into Mr Foss' death, labelled the system "counterintuitive".
Some of these observed trends, as confirmed by finite element analysis (FEM), are seemingly counterintuitive. Thus, empirical power law models that give an inverse relationship between solder joint life and board thickness (raised to a power that varies from one source to another) can be misleading, if generalized.
"It sounds counterintuitive to block a skylight in favor of artifi cial light," said Wilzig, "but the lightbox enables us to create light that's as natural looking as we want."
Our Take: There's something deliciously counterintuitive about Beyonce's sneak attack.

Full browser ?