I think I remember a word like that and it begins with the prefix counter. Can anyone help me?

closed as off-topic by MetaEd Oct 17 '16 at 15:31

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  • Self-damaging, self-destructive? – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 16 '16 at 12:41
  • Counterintuitive. – MetaEd Oct 17 '16 at 15:31

I think the word you are looking for is counterproductive:


1. thwarting the achievement of an intended goal; tending to defeat one's purpose:

See also the answer to this question:

Is there an English word or phrase that means “intending to help and hurting instead?”

  • This doesn't imply working against yourself though. Counterproductive is just against something else. – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 16 '16 at 12:42
  • @BladorthinTheGrey: it doesn't rule out working against yourself either, and the OP did ask for a word beginning with 'counter' :-) – Frank H. Oct 16 '16 at 12:48
  • Fair enough, perhaps you've answered the question and I've answered the title. :) – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 16 '16 at 12:50
  • I like counterproductive for what the OP described. Include the definition, not just a link, and I'll upvote. I think that's the way we're supposed to write answers here. – aparente001 Oct 17 '16 at 2:34
  • 1
    @aparente001: done - it would have been counterproductive not to :-) – Frank H. Oct 17 '16 at 9:49

I think you want: contradict, as in contradictory, contradiction, contradicting, contradicted, contrary, and so on.

It’s not counter-; it’s contra-. But the etymology is basically the same.

I also like: paradox and oxymoron, both of which I consider to be similar or at least somewhat related.


While it doesn't start with counter-, I think self-defeating is worth considering.

Link: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/self-defeating

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