One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Finance. The settlement or payment of differences on accounts. Also: an agreement to pay the sum due on a balance of accounts. Now historical.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). Probably from Italian riscontro encounter, meeting, clash, brush, examination, inspection (of accounts, etc.) (from riscontrare), with remodelling after re- and counter, encounter, etc., or after recounter or rencounter. Compare Spanish rescuentro encounter, meeting, act of balancing (accounts).
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