Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

encounter

play
verb en·coun·ter \in-ˈkau̇n-tər, en-\

Simple Definition of encounter

  • : to have or experience (problems, difficulties, etc.)

  • : to meet (someone) without expecting or intending to

Full Definition of encounter

en·coun·tereden·coun·ter·ing play \-ˈkau̇n-t(ə-)riŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to meet as an adversary or enemy b :  to engage in conflict with

  3. 2 :  to come upon face-to-face

  4. 3 :  to come upon or experience especially unexpectedly <encounter difficulties>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to meet especially by chance

Examples of encounter

  1. We encountered problems early in the project.

  2. The pilot told us that we might encounter turbulence during the flight.

  3. Her suggestion has encountered a lot of opposition.



Origin of encounter

Middle English encountren, from Anglo-French encuntrer, from Medieval Latin incontrare, from Late Latin incontra toward, from Latin in- + contra against — more at counter


First Known Use: 14th century


2

encounter

noun en·coun·ter

Simple Definition of encounter

  • : a meeting that is not planned or expected

  • : a usually brief experience with another person

  • : a violent or very unfriendly meeting

Full Definition of encounter

  1. 1 :  a meeting between hostile factions or persons :  a sudden often violent clash <an encounter between the police and demonstrators>

  2. 2 a :  a chance meeting <an accidental encounter> b :  a particular kind of meeting or experience with another person <a romantic encounter>

  3. 3 :  a coming into the vicinity of a celestial body <the Martian encounter of a spacecraft>

Examples of encounter

  1. a chance encounter with a famous writer

  2. He's accused of having had sexual encounters with several young women.

  3. There was a violent encounter between fans of the opposing teams.

  4. It was her first encounter with cigarettes.



14th Century

First Known Use of encounter

14th century




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up encounter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ