encounter

If you run into that cute guy (or girl) from the local deli when you’re at the grocery store and you stop to chat, you’ve just had an encounter, which is a casual meeting, often resulting by chance.

When you encounter the word encounter, context will tell you if it’s acting as a verb or a noun. The sentence “When Spencer and Susanna encounter a bear on the trail, they stand very still” illustrates the verb form. “The encounter in the subway left her wishing she had stayed at home” shows the noun form. Whether acting as a verb or a noun, the word carries the connotation of “chance meeting." You don’t plan an encounter; it just happens.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: encounter

1
vn
come together
a casual or unexpected convergence
2
vn
contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
a minor short-term fight
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: encounter
1

v come together

Synonyms:
come across, meet, run across, run into, see
assemble, foregather, forgather, gather, meet
collect in one place
Types:
cross, intersect
meet at a point
cross
meet and pass

v come upon, as if by accident; meet with

Synonyms:
bump, chance, find, happen

v be beset by

Synonyms:
run into
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v experience as a reaction

Synonyms:
meet, receive
Type of:
experience, have
undergo

n a casual or unexpected convergence

“there was a brief encounter in the hallway”
Synonyms:
meeting
Types:
alignment, conjunction
(astronomy) apparent meeting or passing of two or more celestial bodies in the same degree of the zodiac
inferior conjunction
(astronomy) the alignment of the Earth and a planet on the same side of the sun
superior conjunction
(astronomy) the alignment of the Earth and a planet on the opposite side of the sun
Type of:
convergence
the occurrence of two or more things coming together

n a casual meeting with a person or thing

Synonyms:
coming upon
Type of:
connection, connexion, joining
the act of bringing two things into contact (especially for communication)
2

v contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle

Synonyms:
meet, play, take on
play
participate in games or sport
play
employ in a game or in a specific position
play
use or move
play
shoot or hit in a particular manner
Types:
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confront, face
oppose, as in hostility or a competition
replay
repeat a game against the same opponent
breast, front
confront bodily
take the bull by the horns
face a difficulty and grapple with it without avoiding it
match, oppose, pit, play off
set into opposition or rivalry

n a minor short-term fight

Synonyms:
brush, clash, skirmish
Types:
contretemps
an awkward clash
Type of:
combat, fight, fighting, scrap
the act of fighting; any contest or struggle

n a hostile disagreement face-to-face

Synonyms:
confrontation, face-off, showdown
Type of:
disagreement
the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing
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