[ en-koun-ter ]
/ ɛnˈkaʊn tər /

verb (used with object)

to come upon or meet with, especially unexpectedly: to encounter a new situation.
to meet with or contend against (difficulties, opposition, etc.): We encounter so many problems in our work.
to meet (a person, military force, etc.) in conflict: We will encounter the enemy at dawn.

verb (used without object)

to meet, especially unexpectedly or in conflict: We were angry when we encountered, but we parted with smiles.


Origin of encounter

1250–1300; Middle English encountren < Anglo-French enco(u)ntrer; Old French < Vulgar Latin *incontrāre, equivalent to in- in-1 + -contrāre, derivative of contrā against; see counter3


en·coun·ter·er, noun pre·en·coun·ter, noun, verb (used with object) re·en·coun·ter, verb, noun un·en·coun·tered, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for encounter

British Dictionary definitions for encounter

/ (ɪnˈkaʊntə) /


to come upon or meet casually or unexpectedly
to come into conflict with (an enemy, army, etc) in battle or contest
(tr) to be faced with; contend with he encounters many obstacles in his work


a meeting with a person or thing, esp when casual or unexpected
a hostile meeting; contest or conflict

Derived forms of encounter

encounterer, noun

Word Origin for encounter

C13: from Old French encontrer, from Vulgar Latin incontrāre (unattested), from Latin in- ² + contrā against, opposite