verb en·coun·ter \in-ˈkan-tər, en-\

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

: to meet (someone) without expecting or intending to

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

Full Definition of ENCOUNTER

transitive verb
a :  to meet as an adversary or enemy
b :  to engage in conflict with
:  to come upon face-to-face
:  to come upon or experience especially unexpectedly <encounter difficulties>
intransitive verb
:  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.


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



: 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

:  a meeting between hostile factions or persons :  a sudden often violent clash <an encounter between the police and demonstrators>
a :  a chance meeting <an accidental encounter>
b :  a particular kind of meeting or experience with another person <a romantic encounter>
:  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.

First Known Use of ENCOUNTER

14th century

Rhymes with ENCOUNTER


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