Definition of encounter in English:

encounter

verb

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

    ‘we have encountered one small problem’
    • ‘Officials said coalition forces ordered the airstrike after encountering hostile fire from the location.’
    • ‘He said the troops did not encounter any hostile fire.’
    • ‘But they're likely to encounter a hostile European Union.’
    • ‘An animal may experience conflicting urges when encountering a threat.’
    • ‘Hypercalcemia is a disorder commonly encountered by primary care physicians.’
    • ‘Anemia in children is commonly encountered by the family physician.’
    • ‘I frequently encountered this problem as Director of Education for a small natural history museum.’
    • ‘One problem frequently encountered is determining when and how to intervene.’
    • ‘In 27 years of trading, I have never encountered such personal difficulties dealing with a customer.’
    • ‘But I've never encountered any real difficulties or trouble.’
    • ‘Longtime officers claimed afterwards that they had never encountered such stiff resistance.’
    • ‘Yet this was the first time he'd ever encountered such sullen hostility from total strangers.’
    • ‘Even if they could find the time, they often encounter another obstacle.’
    • ‘The proposals are also encountering some mild resistance from Congress.’
    • ‘Government's plan to hang every prisoner on death row has encountered an obstacle.’
    • ‘We have never denied the many problems we have encountered along the way.’
    • ‘Primary spinal neoplasms are encountered far less frequently in adults than in children.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Upon her arrival, she encounters open hostility from both her bosses and pupils.’
    • ‘But despite the hardships he encountered on the trip, he is already looking ahead to another challenge next year.’
    experience, come into contact with, run into, come across, come up against, face, be faced with, confront, be forced to contend with
    View synonyms
  • 2Meet (someone) unexpectedly.

    ‘what do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives?’
    • ‘Upon his return he encountered Mistress Dorset in the corridor.’
    • ‘Rather, it appeared to be shock at encountering the person she least expected to meet.’
    • ‘It is only infrequently in life that one encounters people whose talents have been recognised and honoured by society.’
    • ‘The middle part of the film becomes a series of incidents, with the girls encountering people who either help or hinder them.’
    • ‘When you encounter people who are different from you, don't judge them by how they look or act.’
    • ‘In addition, the ethnographer will encounter many people who will act as informants.’
    • ‘He also used many non-professional actors for the people encountered along the way.’
    • ‘I used to dislike or even hate certain people whom I had encountered in life.’
    • ‘Wilson shared it with other soldiers, who passed out the small gifts to children they encountered on the streets.’
    • ‘Bands we encounter on the road are always in awe of our awesome van.’
    • ‘They beg for money, often using bits of broken English they pick up from the occasional soldier they encounter.’
    • ‘He arrives here at midnight, he always travels late to avoid being held up by the crowds he encounters in the day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the story, Mulligan is described by a street vendor he encounters on a Chicago spring day.’
    • ‘She encountered fewer soldiers the closer she came to the interior of the base.’
    • ‘Now it is important to mention that, at this time, the only soldiers Kas had encountered were male.’
    • ‘He was a bit of a suspicious character to encounter on the streets.’
    • ‘I have dived before but the biggest thing I ever encountered previously was a five foot tuna.’
    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.

    ‘she felt totally unnerved by the encounter’
    • ‘Our casual lakeside encounters evolved into more regular meetings, dancing and dating.’
    • ‘But you probably don't appreciate casual encounters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The vast majority die of old age, disease or unexpected encounters with cars.’
    • ‘Bad personal sites bore us by telling us about trivial events and casual encounters about which we have no reason to care.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The notion of chance meetings and cross-global encounters appeared in two other works.’
    • ‘The complainant says that there had been one previous sexual encounter.’
    • ‘I well remember my first underwater encounter with a basking shark.’
    • ‘My first brief encounter with the film was at a very young age.’
    • ‘I recalled my recent encounter with the stranger, and my eyes narrowed.’
    • ‘He chewed reflectively, his thoughts drifting back to yesterday's encounter with Marina.’
    • ‘The last and strangest encounter occurred a couple of years ago in the Maldives.’
    meeting, chance meeting, brush, rendezvous
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    1. 1.1A confrontation or unpleasant struggle.
      ‘his close encounter with death’
      • ‘But men have also reported unpleasant online encounters.’
      • ‘It was the nastiest moment in countless unpleasant footballing encounters.’
      • ‘‘Border guards…,’ I thought with awe, bracing myself for an unpleasant encounter.’
      • ‘Although the unpleasant encounter is over, I have been puzzling over the cause of this gentleman's behaviour, which borders on rudeness.’
      • ‘The unpleasant encounter put me in a strange state of mind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've had my fair share of unpleasant encounters….’
      • ‘When that fails, the young man has an unpleasant encounter with his family.’
      • ‘The U.S. took a major step, surviving an epic encounter with a skilled Japanese side in the quarterfinals in Adelaide.’
      • ‘She had to limp through the final stages of the epic encounter, warding off cramp.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He didn't survive his encounter with the men who are supposedly New York's finest.’
      • ‘Another defeat would have left tomorrow's home encounter with Plymouth looking ominous.’
      • ‘All four are expected to turn out in tomorrow's encounter.’
      • ‘And today's encounter against Celtic is just the sort of game he relishes.’
      • ‘Newcastle won today's encounter 32-9 in front of a 4,500-strong crowd.’
      • ‘He came back strongly in the semi-final encounter against Pakistan by making a solid 58 runs.’
      battle, fight, clash, conflict, confrontation, engagement, skirmish, brush
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2South Asian A violent incident in which a suspected criminal is killed by a member of the police, especially under controversial circumstances.
      ‘he was shot dead in a police encounter’
      as modifier ‘officers responsible for encounter killings’

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

encounter

/ɪnˈkaʊntə/ /ɛnˈkaʊntə/