Definition of come upon in English:

come upon

phrasal verb

  • 1Attack (someone or something) by surprise.

    ‘they could come upon us without warning and wreak havoc’
    • ‘Later, he had pretended to come upon her by surprise and she had given him a bloody lip that was swollen for a week.’
    • ‘The ferocity of her attack surprised even the fierce sea-raiders who had come upon this land from the north, and eventually she carved a path to where the banner lay on the ground.’
    affect, afflict, attack, hit, come upon, smite
  • 2

    see come on (sense 2)

    • ‘My previous entry dealt with coming upon a younger version of myself as the possessor of endless possibilities as far as the future was concerned.’
    • ‘It was like coming upon ancient ruins in a jungle.’
    • ‘She tells us the story of coming upon a roadkill buck while taking a much-needed break from writing college papers.’
    • ‘Yet, from a reader's point of view, coming upon these sudden pockets of dread has a troubling effect.’
    • ‘And we walked through churchyards at night, coming upon little patches of graves that were lit by flickering candles.’
    • ‘It was like coming upon one cameo after another of large polished foliage framed in smoky clouds.’
    • ‘Imagine coming upon some road works being done on a one lane bridge at milking time.’
    • ‘What is the likelihood that a person who comes upon these non-professional pages will actually persist and try to find tourism-related information by other means?’
    • ‘He noted that cougars are often mistaken for golden retrievers and his best advice for anyone who suddenly comes upon a cougar is to stay still, make no noise and, if possible, try to back away from it.’
    • ‘When a chauffeur comes upon his rich millionaire boss's tux, he can't resist trying it on.’