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In a pharmacy, not requiring a prescription but requiring a pharmacist's discretion to purchase, as of drugs or medical devices. Please be aware that all behind-the-counter purchases require identification so the pharmacist can verify your age before purchase.
Someone who demands an exceptionally or unreasonably high level of minute detail or accuracy in something. Used especially in reference to hobbyists, particularly in the field of model train building. I might be considered a rivet counter by others, but I'm particularly proud of the level of detail that goes into my model sets. I can't stand seeing movies with a rivet counter like Jerry. After every film, he just sits there listing all the factual inaccuracies in it rather than just enjoying the darn thing!
another lie nailed to the counter
A lie and/or fraud has been discovered and now is used as a warning to the public. The phrase possibly originated with US general store owners, who would nail counterfeit coins to their counters to ward off other counterfeiters. I can't believe I caught you in the act in front of all of my friends! Wow, another lie nailed to the counter! Oh, and he was cheating on me too. You all should consider this another lie nailed to the counter.
Something used during a negotiation that provides one party leverage over another party. Primarily heard in UK. Joe's willingness to walk away from the deal proved to be an effective bargaining counter when it came to purchasing a new car.
A derogatory term used to describe someone who obsesses over trivial and insignificant expenditures in an attempt to save money. As soon as the staff learned they had to purchase their own office supplies, they knew it was a result of the finance department's new bean counter tightening the company's purse strings.
counter with (something)
1. To respond to something with something or in a particular way. A noun or pronoun can be used between "counter" and "with." Amanda can always counter a joke with a witty retort of her own. I was annoyed by that comment, so I countered with a scowl.
2. To refute someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "counter" and "with." When the suspect countered with an alibi, we had to release him.
over the counter
1. Without needing a doctor's prescription in order to be purchased. (Hyphenated if used before a noun.) I thought the infection was serious, but I just needed an over-the-counter cream. It wasn't until 1985s that contraceptives were available over the counter in Ireland.
2. Of stocks, negotiated directly between buyer and seller, without being listed on an official stock exchange. He was offering an incredible price, so we just sold the stocks over the counter.
run counter to (something)
To oppose, contravene, or work against to someone or something. The former CEO's actions run counter to everything this company stands for; as such, she has been immediately removed from her position. The governor's newest policy seems to be running counter to everything he promised during his election campaign.
counter someone or something with something
to refute someone or something with something. She countered our evidence with an eyewitness. I countered Nancy with a better argument.
counter with something
to say something in refutation of something; to strike back with something. Aren't you going to counter with an argument? He countered with a punch in the jaw.
over the counter
Fig. [of medication bought or sold] without a prescription. (Hyphenated when prenominal. See also under the counter.) This is a good product. You can buy it over the counter. I don't put much trust in over-the-counter medications.
run counter to something
to be in opposition to something; to run against something. (This has nothing to do with running.) Your proposal runs counter to what is required by the manager. His idea runs counter to good sense.
under the counter
Fig. [bought or sold] in secret or illegally. (Compare this to over the counter.) The drugstore owner was arrested for selling liquor under the counter. The clerk sold dirty books under the counter.
run counter to
Be in conflict with, oppose, as in Practice often runs counter to theory. This idiom, first recorded in 1843, uses counter in the sense of "in an opposite direction."
under the counter
Secretly, surreptitiously, as in I'm sure they're selling liquor to minors under the counter. This expression most often alludes to an illegal transaction, the counter being the flat-surfaced furnishing or table over which legal business is conducted. It was first recorded in 1926. Also see under the table.
a bean counter
If you call someone a bean counter, you mean that they are only interested in how much money a business makes and spends. Note: In the following expressions, `bean' means money. The reason for our failure is that we have bean counters running our companies. The Japanese have engineering and manufacturing people. Medical bean counters don't think it is cost-effective to detect this type of cancer in the older age groups. Note: You can call this type of approach bean counting. If someone does this, you can say they count the beans. He is angry with the Hollywood establishment — the `bean-counting producers, the idiot studio heads and the lawyers.' Those who count the beans in our society have all the power, and will do for the foreseeable future. Note: These expressions usually show disapproval.
under the counterBRITISH
If you buy or pay for something under the counter, you do it in a secret and dishonest or illegal way. The shirts disappeared from the displays but could still be purchased under the counter as recently as last Friday. Most of the trading was done under the counter, through some form of black-market barter. Note: You can also talk about an under-the-counter payment or deal, meaning one that is secret and dishonest or illegal. It was becoming common practice for athletes to receive under-the-counter payments from organizers to attend meetings. Any under-the-counter money deals were against company policy. Note: The usual American expression is under the table. Note: In Britain, during the Second World War, shopkeepers sometimes kept articles that were in great demand under the shop counter. They only sold them to special customers, often charging very high prices for them.
go counterrun or ride against the direction taken by an animal or person hunted or sought.
In Britain, the variants hunt counter and run counter are also found.
over the counterby ordinary retail purchase, with no need for a prescription or licence.
run counter tobe or develop in conflict with.
under the counter (or table)(with reference to goods bought or sold) surreptitiously and usually illegally.
1994 Coarse Fishing Today The obvious danger is that river fish will be pinched and flogged ‘under the counter’.
a ˈbargaining counter(British English) (also a ˈbargaining chip American English, British English ) a special advantage in negotiations, disputes, etc. which can be offered in exchange for something: The proposed troop reductions were a useful bargaining counter in the disarmament talks.
over the ˈcountergoods, especially medicines, for sale over the counter can be bought without written permission from a doctor: These tablets are available over the counter.
under the ˈcounter(of goods bought or sold in a shop) secretly or illegally: Before the revolution, such luxuries were only sold under the counter.
This refers to illegal goods or goods that are only available in small quantities that are hidden, for example under the counter of the store, so that the police or general public cannot see them.
n. a statistician; an accountant. When the bean-counters get finished with the numbers, you won’t recognize them.
n. a pedantic person; a pedantic copy editor. When you need a proofreader, you need a comma-counter.
over the counter
1. Without being listed or available on an officially recognized stock exchange but in trade by direct negotiation between buyers and sellers: bought stocks over the counter.
2. Without a doctor's prescription being legally required: cold medicine that is available over the counter.
under the counter
In an illegal or surreptitious manner; illicitly: arrested for selling prescription drugs under the counter.