English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English encountren, from Anglo-Norman encountrer, Old French encontrer (to confront), from encontre (against, counter to), from Late Latin incontrā (in front of) itself from Latin in (in) + contrā (against).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

encounter (third-person singular simple present encounters, present participle encountering, simple past and past participle encountered)

  1. (transitive) To meet (someone) or find (something), especially unexpectedly.
    Synonym: cross paths
    • 1662, [Samuel Butler], “[The First Part of Hudibras]”, in Hudibras. The First and Second Parts. [], London: [] John Martyn and Henry Herringman, [], published 1678, →OCLC; republished in A[lfred] R[ayney] Waller, editor, Hudibras: Written in the Time of the Late Wars, Cambridge: University Press, 1905, →OCLC, canto II, page 28:
      H' incounters Talgol, routs the Bear, / And takes the Fidler Prisoner; / Conveys him to enchanted Castle, / There shuts him fast in wooden Bastile.
    • 2021 February 24, Greg Morse, “Great Heck: a tragic chain of events”, in RAIL, number 925, page 39:
      It ran derailed for about 500 yards before encountering a set of points, which caused it to veer into the path of an Immingham-Ferrybridge coal train, powered by Freightliner 66521 (one of a class of locomotive well-known for being well-built enough to destroy anything that got in its way).
  2. (transitive) To confront (someone or something) face to face.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To engage in conflict, as with an enemy.
    Three armies encountered at Waterloo.
  4. (transitive, India) To execute someone extrajudicially.
    • 2021 September 15, “Telangana Minister says, rapist of six-year-old will be nabbed and killed in encounter”, in Catch News[1], retrieved 25 February 2023:
      Speaking to the media, Reddy said, "He (Accused in 6-year-old rape and murder case) should be encountered. We will nab the accused and will encounter him. We will stand by the victim's family. We console them and will provide aid to the family. We will encounter him (the accused)."

Alternative forms edit

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Noun edit

encounter (plural encounters)

  1. A meeting, especially one that is unplanned or unexpected.
    Their encounter was a matter of chance.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter III, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      That was Selwyn's first encounter with the Ruthvens. A short time afterward at the opera Gerald dragged him into a parterre to say something amiable to one of the amiable débutante Craig girls—and Selwyn found himself again facing Alixe.
    • 1995, Maija Kalin, Coping with problems of understanding: repair sequences in conversations between native and non-native speakers:
      As they have planned the encounters, they mostly have control over the time limits.
  2. A hostile, often violent meeting; a confrontation, skirmish, or clash, as between combatants.
  3. (sports) A match between two opposing sides.
  4. (sexuality) A sexual encounter; sexual activity, especially unplanned or unexpected, between people not in a sexual relationship, that usually does not lead to the establishment of a relationship, and may or may not happen again. A sexual encounter could be consensual or non-consensual; in the latter case, it is a sexual assault. A consensual sexual encounter that happens only once is commonly known as a one-night stand.
    • 2021 October 10, Graham Bowley, “For One Bill Cosby Juror, the Work Did Not End With the Trial”, in The New York Times[2]:
      Though Mr. Cosby described the sexual encounter in 2004 as consensual, Ms. Constand said she was too intoxicated to physically or verbally resist.
  5. (sciences) The period of a space mission during which it carries out its data-gathering objectives.
  6. (India) An extrajudicial killing or execution.
    • 2021 September 15, “Telangana Minister says, rapist of six-year-old will be nabbed and killed in encounter”, in Catch News[3], retrieved 25 February 2023:
      Telangana Labour and Employment Minister Malla Reddy on Tuesday said that the guilty person in the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Hyderabad "will be nabbed and will be killed in an encounter".

Synonyms edit

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Translations edit

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