1

encounter

verb en·coun·ter \ in-ˈkau̇n-tər , en- \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of encounter

encountered; encountering play \in-ˈkau̇n-t(ə-)riŋ, en-\
transitive verb
1 a : to meet as an adversary or enemy
b : to engage in conflict with
2 : to come upon face-to-face
3 : to come upon or experience especially unexpectedly
  • encounter difficulties
intransitive verb
: to meet especially by chance

Examples of encounter in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of encounter from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encounter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology 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

encounter Synonyms

Synonyms
catch, chance (upon), meet, happen (upon), stumble (upon)
Related Words
accost, confront; face, greet, salute; collide (with), crash (into); crisscross, cross, pass; hit (upon), light (upon), tumble (to); reencounter, remeet
Near Antonyms
avoid, dodge, duck, elude, escape, evade, shake, shun

2

encounter

noun

Definition of encounter

1 : a meeting between hostile factions or persons : a sudden often violent clash
  • an encounter between the police and demonstrators
2 a : a chance meeting
  • an accidental encounter
b : a particular kind of meeting or experience with another person
  • a romantic encounter
3 : a coming into the vicinity of a celestial body
  • the Martian encounter of a spacecraft

Examples of encounter in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of encounter from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encounter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of encounter

14th century

encounter Synonyms



ENCOUNTER Defined for English Language Learners

encounter

verb

Definition of encounter for English Language Learners

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

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


encounter

noun

Definition of encounter for English Language Learners

  • : a meeting that is not planned or expected

  • : a usually brief experience with another person

  • : a violent or very unfriendly meeting


ENCOUNTER Defined for Kids

1

encounter

verb en·coun·ter \ in-ˈkau̇n-tər \

Definition of encounter for Students

encountered; encountering
1 : to meet face-to-face or by chance
  • I encountered an old friend.
2 : to experience or face often unexpectedly
  • Have you encountered any difficulty?

2

encounter

noun

Definition of encounter for Students

1 : a meeting face-to-face and often by chance
2 : an often unexpected experience It was his first encounter with fame.


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