Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An unplanned meeting.
  • n. A hostile encounter or contest.
  • transitive v. To meet unexpectedly or have an unexpected meeting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. (transitive) To meet, encounter, come into contact with.
  • n. An encounter between opposing forces; a conflict.
  • n. An encounter or chance meeting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A meeting of two persons or bodies; a collision; especially, a meeting in opposition or contest; a combat, action, or engagement.
  • n. A causal combat or action; a sudden contest or fight without premeditation, as between individuals or small parties.
  • intransitive v. To meet unexpectedly; to encounter in a hostile manner; to come in collision; to skirmish.
  • transitive v. To meet unexpectedly; to encounter.
  • transitive v. To attack hand to hand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To meet unexpectedly; fall in with.
  • To attack hand to hand; encounter.
  • To meet an enemy unexpectedly; clash; come in collision; fight hand to hand.
  • n. An antagonistic or hostile meeting; a sudden coming in contact; collision; combat.
  • n. A casual combat or action; a sudden contest or fight; a slight engagement between armies or fleets.
  • n. Synonyms Skirmish, Brush, etc. See encounter.

Etymologies

French rencontre, from Old French, from rencontrer, to meet : re-, re- + encontrer, to meet; see encounter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old (and modern) French rencontrer (verb), rencontre (noun), corresponding to re- + Old French encontrer ‘encounter’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I was not there to witness the meeting; but it was said the rencounter was a furious one.

    The Romance of the Civil War

  • Whilst they were thus speculating on the issue of the rencounter the valiant bonnet maker began to pull up Jezabel, in order that the smith, who he still concluded was close behind, might overtake him, and either advance first or at least abreast of himself.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • India, that Hartley was astonished by an unexpected rencounter.

    The Surgeon's Daughter

  • On the Eastern Border, the Homes are at feud with the Swintons and Cockburns; in our Middle Marches, the Scotts and Kerrs have spilled as much brave blood in domestic feud as might have fought a pitched field in England, could they have but forgiven and forgotten a casual rencounter that placed their names in opposition to each other.

    The Monastery

  • The most surprising rencounter was at the entrance to the Grand Sewer.

    Les Miserables

  • 'Gone in hopes of a rencounter, I doubt not,' answered Mrs. Arlbery;

    Camilla

  • It was a cruel drawback to her hopes to see him first thus in public: but the manner of Mrs. Arlbery at the hotel, he had thought repulsive; he had observed that she seemed offended with him since the rencounter at the breakfast given for Miss Dennel; and he now wished for some encouragement for renewing his rights to the acquaintance.

    Camilla

  • Rudolph declared his own intention to remain on guard the whole night; and as he was equally remarkable for vigilance as for strength and courage, the external watch was considered as safely provided for, it being settled that, in case of any sudden rencounter, the deep and hoarse sound of the Swiss bugle should be the signal for sending support to the patrolling party.

    Anne of Geierstein

  • But against the opinion of more thinking men, who considered Sir Philip Forester as having thrown himself out of the rank of men of honour, Captain Falconer admitted him to the privilege of such, accepted a challenge from him, and in the rencounter received a mortal wound.

    My Aunt Margaret's Mirror

  • The reader will probably conjecture that the person in question was no other than Michael Turnbull, who, wounded in the rencounter of the morning, had been left by some of his friends upon the straw, which was arranged for him by way of couch, to live or die as he best could.

    Castle Dangerous

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