Definition of encounter in English:

encounter

verb

[with object]
  • 1Unexpectedly be faced with or experience (something hostile or difficult)

    ‘we have encountered one small problem’
    • ‘Government's plan to hang every prisoner on death row has encountered an obstacle.’
    • ‘In 27 years of trading, I have never encountered such personal difficulties dealing with a customer.’
    • ‘But they're likely to encounter a hostile European Union.’
    • ‘Anemia in children is commonly encountered by the family physician.’
    • ‘But despite the hardships he encountered on the trip, he is already looking ahead to another challenge next year.’
    • ‘Even if they could find the time, they often encounter another obstacle.’
    • ‘Officials said coalition forces ordered the airstrike after encountering hostile fire from the location.’
    • ‘He said the troops did not encounter any hostile fire.’
    • ‘An animal may experience conflicting urges when encountering a threat.’
    • ‘I frequently encountered this problem as Director of Education for a small natural history museum.’
    • ‘Longtime officers claimed afterwards that they had never encountered such stiff resistance.’
    • ‘One problem frequently encountered is determining when and how to intervene.’
    • ‘Yet this was the first time he'd ever encountered such sullen hostility from total strangers.’
    • ‘Joint pain is among the most common complaints encountered in family practice.’
    • ‘Hypercalcemia is a disorder commonly encountered by primary care physicians.’
    • ‘Upon her arrival, she encounters open hostility from both her bosses and pupils.’
    • ‘But I've never encountered any real difficulties or trouble.’
    • ‘We have never denied the many problems we have encountered along the way.’
    • ‘The proposals are also encountering some mild resistance from Congress.’
    • ‘Primary spinal neoplasms are encountered far less frequently in adults than in children.’
    • ‘The smoke from the fire smelled as bad as everything else they'd encountered so far.’
    experience, come into contact with, run into, come across, come up against, face, be faced with, confront, be forced to contend with
    View synonyms
  • 2Meet (someone) unexpectedly.

    ‘what do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives?’
    • ‘He arrives here at midnight, he always travels late to avoid being held up by the crowds he encounters in the day.’
    • ‘Now it is important to mention that, at this time, the only soldiers Kas had encountered were male.’
    • ‘In the story, Mulligan is described by a street vendor he encounters on a Chicago spring day.’
    • ‘Upon his return he encountered Mistress Dorset in the corridor.’
    • ‘Wilson shared it with other soldiers, who passed out the small gifts to children they encountered on the streets.’
    • ‘He also used many non-professional actors for the people encountered along the way.’
    • ‘He was a bit of a suspicious character to encounter on the streets.’
    • ‘The traveling I could do without, but I wouldn't give up meeting the several hundred dance educators I encounter on each tour for anything.’
    • ‘I have dived before but the biggest thing I ever encountered previously was a five foot tuna.’
    • ‘It is only infrequently in life that one encounters people whose talents have been recognised and honoured by society.’
    • ‘She encountered fewer soldiers the closer she came to the interior of the base.’
    • ‘In addition, the ethnographer will encounter many people who will act as informants.’
    • ‘Rather, it appeared to be shock at encountering the person she least expected to meet.’
    • ‘The middle part of the film becomes a series of incidents, with the girls encountering people who either help or hinder them.’
    • ‘I used to dislike or even hate certain people whom I had encountered in life.’
    • ‘Bands we encounter on the road are always in awe of our awesome van.’
    • ‘They beg for money, often using bits of broken English they pick up from the occasional soldier they encounter.’
    • ‘When you encounter people who are different from you, don't judge them by how they look or act.’
    meet, meet by chance, run into, run across, come across, come upon, stumble across, stumble on, chance on, happen on
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1An unexpected or casual meeting with someone or something.

    ‘she felt totally unnerved by the encounter’
    • ‘The vast majority die of old age, disease or unexpected encounters with cars.’
    • ‘But you probably don't appreciate casual encounters.’
    • ‘The complainant says that there had been one previous sexual encounter.’
    • ‘Bad personal sites bore us by telling us about trivial events and casual encounters about which we have no reason to care.’
    • ‘I'm thinking that this might be the best chance I ever get to have a casual encounter with someone new and exciting.’
    • ‘I recalled my recent encounter with the stranger, and my eyes narrowed.’
    • ‘My first brief encounter with the film was at a very young age.’
    • ‘He chewed reflectively, his thoughts drifting back to yesterday's encounter with Marina.’
    • ‘Our casual lakeside encounters evolved into more regular meetings, dancing and dating.’
    • ‘The notion of chance meetings and cross-global encounters appeared in two other works.’
    • ‘One of the downsides of being a responsible single father was the serious crimp it put in any casual encounters.’
    • ‘When you go to work, or visit a park, it is possible that you will have a range of unexpected encounters, however fleeting or seemingly inconsequential.’
    • ‘I well remember my first underwater encounter with a basking shark.’
    • ‘The last and strangest encounter occurred a couple of years ago in the Maldives.’
    meeting, chance meeting, brush, rendezvous
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    1. 1.1 A confrontation or unpleasant struggle.
      ‘his close encounter with death’
      • ‘The U.S. took a major step, surviving an epic encounter with a skilled Japanese side in the quarterfinals in Adelaide.’
      • ‘Another defeat would have left tomorrow's home encounter with Plymouth looking ominous.’
      • ‘It was the nastiest moment in countless unpleasant footballing encounters.’
      • ‘She's evidently remembering her previous encounter with a gun.’
      • ‘‘Border guards…,’ I thought with awe, bracing myself for an unpleasant encounter.’
      • ‘And today's encounter against Celtic is just the sort of game he relishes.’
      • ‘I've had my fair share of unpleasant encounters….’
      • ‘The combination of the two leads him to an unpleasant encounter with the police.’
      • ‘The unpleasant encounter put me in a strange state of mind.’
      • ‘Although the unpleasant encounter is over, I have been puzzling over the cause of this gentleman's behaviour, which borders on rudeness.’
      • ‘Durrow had won the earlier league encounter and started in a very determined fashion.’
      • ‘But men have also reported unpleasant online encounters.’
      • ‘When that fails, the young man has an unpleasant encounter with his family.’
      • ‘She had to limp through the final stages of the epic encounter, warding off cramp.’
      • ‘All four are expected to turn out in tomorrow's encounter.’
      • ‘But it won't be a bruising encounter - for tai chi is more about inner peace than unarmed combat.’
      • ‘Newcastle won today's encounter 32-9 in front of a 4,500-strong crowd.’
      • ‘I recently had an unpleasant encounter with a guy who drives a tow truck.’
      • ‘He didn't survive his encounter with the men who are supposedly New York's finest.’
      • ‘He came back strongly in the semi-final encounter against Pakistan by making a solid 58 runs.’
      battle, fight, clash, conflict, confrontation, engagement, skirmish, brush
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2South Asian A violent incident in which a suspected criminal is killed by a member of the police, especially under controversial circumstances.
      ‘he was shot dead in a police encounter’
      as modifier ‘officers responsible for encounter killings’

Origin

Middle English (in the senses ‘meet as an adversary’ and ‘a meeting of adversaries’; formerly also as incounter): from Old French encontrer (verb), encontre (noun), based on Latin in- ‘in’ + contra ‘against’.

Pronunciation

encounter

/ɛnˈkaʊntə//ɪnˈkaʊntə/