Meaning of over the counter

o'ver the count'er

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. not transacted through an organized securities exchange; directly to the buyer or from the seller: He sold his stocks over the counter.
  2. without a doctor's prescription but within the law.


Pronunciation: (ō'vur-u-koun'tur), [key]
— adj.
  1. unlisted on or not part of an organized securities exchange:OTC over-the-counter stocks; the over-the-counter market. Abbr.:
  2. sold legally without a doctor's prescription:Abbr.: OTC over-the-counter drugs.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.