Discount as a verb is clear to me. I just spoke this sentence without thinking. But now I think I goofed up. However, it tickled a question in my brain.

What's the opposite to the verb count? - Uncount is not found anywhere, discount is the word but with different meaning.

Consider our group has arranged for a picnic. But I'm pretty not sure about it. And I say...

"Okay, let's count first..... fine... we are ten in total. And you guys should arrange for the accommodation and food accordingly. But mind it, I may have some undeniable work on that day. And thus, if you discount me, you are nine.

Dictionaries' definitions for the verb discount does not support my sentence. And, I don't want to use ...if you don't count me.... Furthermore, uncount won't work that way (it's really funny - OALD redirects uncount to the entry of uncountable noun!) :P

Thanks to the answerers. Exclude fits better but then I asked in contrast to the word count.

If you include me, we are ten but if you exclude me, you are nine - is fine.

But, my concern is...

If you count me, we are ten but if you discount/uncount me, you are nine.

  • 4
    good question -- but the truth is, I think the answer you don't want ("don't count") is the only answer there is. (You could say, "excluding me" instead of "if you don't count me" to get the point across.) Since I might be wrong, I am leaving this as a comment and not a response.
    – hunter
    Jul 9, 2014 at 11:21
  • 3
    "Exclude" would be better here (to mean: not including in a group), although "discount" would probably be understood correctly in this example. Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23
  • In contrast to let's count... I want to use uncount/discount that's it! You know matching-matching lol
    – Maulik V
    Jul 9, 2014 at 11:30
  • 1
    If you want to be really brief, I think you could use, "Without me, ..." Jul 9, 2014 at 12:18
  • 1
    I think you might be looking for a distinction like count me in (include me) versus count me out (exclude me).
    – oerkelens
    Jul 9, 2014 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


I'll be referring to the definitions of count from Oxford Learner's in my answer.

Don't count is the closest to an opposite for count in the sense of numbering in sequence (definition 1). There's no pure antonym here; what could be the opposite of saying "1, 2, 3..."? Some thesauruses list words like guess as antonyms for this case, but I strongly disagree with that.

Definition 2 means calculating a total by summing up the number of members. This is the sense used in your example (let's count... ten in total). As with definition 1, there's no true antonym, for the same reasons. Similarly, you can get the right essential meaning with don't count, and it would be correct to use in your example:

And thus, if you don't count me, you are nine.

But we can get better results with definition 3, include. Exclude is its appropriate antonym. It's also correct to say it in place of discount in your example:

And thus, if you exclude me, you are nine.

Using exclude causes a definitional shift in the usage of count (changing from 2 to 3), which technically changes the meaning. Outside of situations where semantic pedantry is part and parcel (e.g. the law, professional philosophy, ridiculously close linguistic analysis, internet arguments), nobody will care about this. Everyone (discounting those who don't know enough English) will grasp the meaning without any problems.

Since you've discounted don't count, exclude is the best choice.

Definitions 4, 5 and 6 all have the same antonym: discount. See definition 1 from OALD, which I actually find rather lacking; discount can also mean ignore, not include, minimize, etc. MW is more complete here.

Discount is in your example. While semantically (and grammatically) correct, discount is too formal for the context, making the response sound strange. For a group of people organizing a trip together the phrasing just sounds weird, though the meaning is clear. Using discount makes count definitionally shift, as exclude does. However, here the "distance" between the definitions is noticeably greater and makes the change awkward; in general conversation, people will stumble over this. Exclude is a better choice.

OALD redirects uncount to the entry of uncountable noun!

That's because it's a standard abbreviation for uncountable [noun] in dictionaries. But as you've found out, it's not a word in and of itself.

You've clarified that you're after le mot juste to complement count. I agree that count/exclude and count/don't count aren't as eloquent as a cognate pair, such as include/exclude. However, I'm afraid my vocabulary's at an end here; I don't know of a single-word, etymologically related antonym for this sense of count.

For a simple drop-in replacement, I recommend exclude or don't count. I realize that's not what you're after, but in terms of an easy, quick and accurate solution this is the best way to go. Additional apropos alternatives:

  • Use include / exclude instead of count / antonym-of-count.
  • Restructure the passage to use with / without me or something along those lines, as suggested by Damkerng T.

If your heart is dead set on some sort of count pairing, you could use discount, but I think it's self defeating to use an awkward, contrived sounding phrasing for the sake of preserving a nice juxtaposition of vocabulary. If you're going to do so, I suggest using counting/discounting and upping the formality for the sake of making things marginally less peculiar. Something along these lines, for example:

OK, we are ten, counting everyone, but mind that I might have some unavoidable work that day. Discounting me and planning for a group of nine might be wise. Please arrange for the food and accommodation accordingly.

Bear in mind that while these sentences are now consistent and don't mix registers, they are still too formal for the context. Someone planning a vacation with friends and who's been using phrases like you guys should expect to receive some quizzical looks if they start talking in this fashion.

  • I certainly know the word exclude and the phrase don't count. However, the former word fits better in contrast to include. If you include me, we are ten and if you exclude me, you are nine is fine. But if you count me, we are ten and you exclude me, you are nine. That's why I said in contrast to count - uncount/discount! :)
    – Maulik V
    Jul 9, 2014 at 12:25
  • I've made a substantial edit and addition to address your update to the question. Jul 9, 2014 at 15:07

The opposite of the word "count" in a context like this is "don't count". There is no single word. To express the idea you are describing, you would say, "If you don't count me, then there are only 9 in the group."

By the way, we wouldn't normally say "you are only nine", but rather "there are only nine". "You are only nine" is not wrong, fluent speakers say it sometimes, but not often.

Note that there are many verbs that don't have an opposite. I haven't done a review, but I'd guess that most verbs do not. Like we have a verb "eat", but there's no single word meaning "not eat". We have a verb look, but no single verb meaning "don't look". We don't say "uneat" or "dislook", etc. If you want to express the idea that someone DIDN'T do X, normally you just say "didn't do X", in most cases there's no special word for it.

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