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The inscription of one's name at the end of a writing, done by a secretary or a subordinate, to attest to the fact that such a writing has been signed by a principal or a superior, thereby vouching for the genuineness of the signature. To write one's name at the end of a document—in addition to the inscription of a name by another—to attest to the authenticity of the signature.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


to sign (a document already signed by another).
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

COUNTERSIGN. To countersign is to sign on the opposite side of an instrument already signed by some other person or officer, in order to secure its character of a genuine paper; as a bank note is signed by the president and countersigned by the cashier.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
"Seven from five," returned Jefferson Hope promptly, remembering the countersign which he had heard in the garden.
My purpose was a run to Quebec in "Postal Packet 162 or such other as may be appointed"; and the Postmaster-General himself countersigned the order.
The form must be signed in the presence of a health or social services professional who countersigns it; if the professional countersigning is not the attending physician, the signed form is given to the attending physician.
That's perhaps due to the delicacy of her work, which dusts for traces of human occupation in landscape and architecture: Her film of a verdant Ugandan vista, Out of the Blue, 2002, for example, countersigns its imagery with the nondiegetic sounds of voices and crackling fire, hitching together the story of Idi Amin's 1972 expulsion of his country's Asian citizens--the artist among them--and the tradition of British landscape painting.