- 1Unexpectedly be faced with or experience (something hostile or difficult): we have encountered one small problemMore example sentences
- 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.
- 2Meet (someone) unexpectedly: what do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives?More example sentences
- 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.
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- 1An unexpected or casual meeting with someone or something: she felt totally unnerved by the encounterMore example sentences
- 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.
- 1.1A confrontation or unpleasant struggle: his close encounter with deathMore example sentences
- 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.
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'.