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

  • n. A meeting, especially one that is unplanned, unexpected, or brief: a chance encounter in the park.
  • n. A hostile or adversarial confrontation; a contest: a tense naval encounter.
  • n. An often violent meeting; a clash.
  • transitive v. To meet, especially unexpectedly; come upon: encountered an old friend on the street.
  • transitive v. To confront in battle or contention.
  • transitive v. To come up against: encounter numerous obstacles.
  • intransitive v. To meet, especially unexpectedly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To meet (someone) or find (something) unexpectedly.
  • v. To confront (someone or something), notably face to face.
  • v. To engage in conflict, as with an enemy.
  • n. An unplanned or unexpected meeting.
  • n. A hostile meeting; a confrontation or skirmish.
  • n. A sudden, often violent clash, as between combatants.
  • n. A match between two opposing sides.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A meeting face to face; a running against; a sudden or incidental meeting; an interview.
  • n. A meeting, with hostile purpose; hence, a combat; a battle.
  • intransitive v. To meet face to face; to have a meeting; to meet, esp. as enemies; to engage in combat; to fight.
  • transitive v. To come against face to face; to meet; to confront, either by chance, suddenly, or deliberately; especially, to meet in opposition or with hostile intent; to engage in conflict with; to oppose; to struggle with

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To come upon or against; meet with; especially, to meet casually, unexpectedly, reluctantly, or the like.
  • To meet antagonistically; engage in conflict of any kind with; contend with; make an attack upon.
  • To oppose; oppugn.
  • To befall; betide.
  • Synonyms To confront, struggle with, contend against.
  • To meet; come together; come into contact or collision.
  • To meet in opposition or conflict; come together in combat; contend; fight.
  • n. A meeting, particularly a sudden or accidental meeting, of two or more persons or bodies of any kind; a coming together or in contact.
  • n. Specifically In physics, the coming within the sphere of one another's action of the rapidly moving molecules of a gaseous body.
  • n. A meeting in opposition or conflict of any kind; a conflict; a battle; specifically, a contest between individuals or a small number of men, or an accidental meeting and fighting of detachments.
  • n. Manner of encountering; mode of accost or address; behavior in intercourse.
  • n. Synonyms Encounter, Rencounter, Skirmish, Brush, colision, affair. As conflicts in war these are shorter, with fewer engaged, and of less importance, than those compared under battle. An encounter is often an accidental meeting, resulting in some conflict, but not suffered to grow into a general engagement. Rencounter is the same thing, expressed by a term less common. A skirmish is an irregular or desultory contest between parts of armies, as scouting parties or skirmish-lines, not generally resulting in battle. A brush is short and sharp, perhaps engaging the whole of some force for a time, but not being pushed into a long or hard-fought struggle. See strife.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. come upon, as if by accident; meet with
  • n. a casual meeting with a person or thing
  • n. a casual or unexpected convergence
  • v. experience as a reaction
  • n. a hostile disagreement face-to-face
  • n. a minor short-term fight
  • v. contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
  • v. come together
  • v. be beset by


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

Middle English encountre, from Old French, from encontrer, to meet, from Late Latin incontrāre : Latin in-, in; see en-1 + Latin contrā, against; see kom in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1297, Anglo-Norman encountrer, Old French encontrer ("to confront"), from encontre ("against, counter to"), from Late Latin incontra ("in front of") itself from Latin in- ("in") + contra ("against").



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