Share this entry

Share this page

encounter

Syllabification: en·coun·ter
Pronunciation: /inˈkoun(t)ər
 
, enˈkoun(t)ər
 
/

Definition of encounter in English:

verb

[with object]
1Unexpectedly experience or be faced with (something difficult or hostile): we have encountered one small problem
More 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.
Synonyms
experience, hit, run into, come up against, face, be faced with, confront
1.1Meet (someone) unexpectedly.
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.
Synonyms
meet, meet by chance, run into, come across/upon, stumble across/on/upon, chance on/upon, happen on/upon
informal bump into

noun

Back to top  
1An unexpected or casual meeting with someone or something.
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.
Synonyms
meeting, chance meeting
1.1A confrontation or unpleasant struggle: his close encounter with death
More 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.
Synonyms

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'.

Words that rhyme with encounter

counter, mounter

Definition of encounter in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure