Definition of encounter in English:

encounter

verb

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

    ‘we have encountered one small problem’
    • ‘But I've never encountered any real difficulties or trouble.’
    • ‘We have never denied the many problems we have encountered along the way.’
    • ‘He said the troops did not encounter any hostile fire.’
    • ‘But they're likely to encounter a hostile European Union.’
    • ‘Even if they could find the time, they often encounter another obstacle.’
    • ‘But despite the hardships he encountered on the trip, he is already looking ahead to another challenge next year.’
    • ‘Yet this was the first time he'd ever encountered such sullen hostility from total strangers.’
    • ‘The smoke from the fire smelled as bad as everything else they'd encountered so far.’
    • ‘Joint pain is among the most common complaints encountered in family practice.’
    • ‘Government's plan to hang every prisoner on death row has encountered an obstacle.’
    • ‘Officials said coalition forces ordered the airstrike after encountering hostile fire from the location.’
    • ‘One problem frequently encountered is determining when and how to intervene.’
    • ‘Primary spinal neoplasms are encountered far less frequently in adults than in children.’
    • ‘The proposals are also encountering some mild resistance from Congress.’
    • ‘Anemia in children is commonly encountered by the family physician.’
    • ‘Longtime officers claimed afterwards that they had never encountered such stiff resistance.’
    • ‘Upon her arrival, she encounters open hostility from both her bosses and pupils.’
    • ‘Hypercalcemia is a disorder commonly encountered by primary care physicians.’
    • ‘An animal may experience conflicting urges when encountering a threat.’
    • ‘In 27 years of trading, I have never encountered such personal difficulties dealing with a customer.’
    • ‘I frequently encountered this problem as Director of Education for a small natural history museum.’
    experience, come into contact with, run into, come across, come up against, face, be faced with, confront, be forced to contend with
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    1. 1.1 Meet (someone) unexpectedly.
      • ‘Bands we encounter on the road are always in awe of our awesome van.’
      • ‘In addition, the ethnographer will encounter many people who will act as informants.’
      • ‘The middle part of the film becomes a series of incidents, with the girls encountering people who either help or hinder them.’
      • ‘Rather, it appeared to be shock at encountering the person she least expected to meet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was a bit of a suspicious character to encounter on the streets.’
      • ‘Now it is important to mention that, at this time, the only soldiers Kas had encountered were male.’
      • ‘They beg for money, often using bits of broken English they pick up from the occasional soldier they encounter.’
      • ‘Upon his return he encountered Mistress Dorset in the corridor.’
      • ‘He arrives here at midnight, he always travels late to avoid being held up by the crowds he encounters in the day.’
      • ‘Wilson shared it with other soldiers, who passed out the small gifts to children they encountered on the streets.’
      • ‘She encountered fewer soldiers the closer she came to the interior of the base.’
      • ‘It is only infrequently in life that one encounters people whose talents have been recognised and honoured by society.’
      • ‘I used to dislike or even hate certain people whom I had encountered in life.’
      • ‘He also used many non-professional actors for the people encountered along the way.’
      • ‘When you encounter people who are different from you, don't judge them by how they look or act.’
      • ‘I have dived before but the biggest thing I ever encountered previously was a five foot tuna.’
      • ‘In the story, Mulligan is described by a street vendor he encounters on a Chicago spring day.’
      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.

    • ‘I recalled my recent encounter with the stranger, and my eyes narrowed.’
    • ‘The vast majority die of old age, disease or unexpected encounters with cars.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My first brief encounter with the film was at a very young age.’
    • ‘I well remember my first underwater encounter with a basking shark.’
    • ‘The complainant says that there had been one previous sexual encounter.’
    • ‘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'm thinking that this might be the best chance I ever get to have a casual encounter with someone new and exciting.’
    • ‘One of the downsides of being a responsible single father was the serious crimp it put in any casual encounters.’
    • ‘Bad personal sites bore us by telling us about trivial events and casual encounters about which we have no reason to care.’
    • ‘But you probably don't appreciate casual encounters.’
    • ‘The notion of chance meetings and cross-global encounters appeared in two other works.’
    • ‘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.’
      • ‘He came back strongly in the semi-final encounter against Pakistan by making a solid 58 runs.’
      • ‘Another defeat would have left tomorrow's home encounter with Plymouth looking ominous.’
      • ‘Newcastle won today's encounter 32-9 in front of a 4,500-strong crowd.’
      • ‘But it won't be a bruising encounter - for tai chi is more about inner peace than unarmed combat.’
      • ‘Durrow had won the earlier league encounter and started in a very determined fashion.’
      • ‘She's evidently remembering her previous encounter with a gun.’
      • ‘It was the nastiest moment in countless unpleasant footballing encounters.’
      • ‘All four are expected to turn out in tomorrow's encounter.’
      • ‘He didn't survive his encounter with the men who are supposedly New York's finest.’
      • ‘‘Border guards…,’ I thought with awe, bracing myself for an unpleasant encounter.’
      • ‘I recently had an unpleasant encounter with a guy who drives a tow truck.’
      • ‘The combination of the two leads him to an unpleasant encounter with the police.’
      • ‘And today's encounter against Celtic is just the sort of game he relishes.’
      • ‘I've had my fair share of unpleasant encounters….’
      • ‘Although the unpleasant encounter is over, I have been puzzling over the cause of this gentleman's behaviour, which borders on rudeness.’
      • ‘When that fails, the young man has an unpleasant encounter with his family.’
      • ‘But men have also reported unpleasant online encounters.’
      • ‘The unpleasant encounter put me in a strange state of mind.’
      • ‘She had to limp through the final stages of the epic encounter, warding off cramp.’
      battle, fight, clash, conflict, confrontation, engagement, skirmish, brush
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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