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.

Definitions of encounter
  1. verb
    come together
    synonyms: come across, meet, run across, run into, see
    assemble, foregather, forgather, gather, meet
    collect in one place
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    types:
    cross, intersect
    meet at a point
    cross
    meet and pass
  2. verb
    come upon, as if by accident; meet with
    synonyms: bump, chance, find, happen
  3. verb
    be beset by
    synonyms: run into
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    type of:
    be
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  4. verb
    experience as a reaction
    synonyms: meet, receive
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    type of:
    experience, have
    undergo
  5. noun
    a casual or unexpected convergence
    “there was a brief encounter in the hallway”
    synonyms: meeting
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    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
  6. noun
    a casual meeting with a person or thing
    synonyms: coming upon
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    type of:
    connection, connexion, joining
    the act of bringing two things into contact (especially for communication)
  7. verb
    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
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    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
  8. noun
    a minor short-term fight
    synonyms: brush, clash, skirmish
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    types:
    contretemps
    an awkward clash
    type of:
    combat, fight, fighting, scrap
    the act of fighting; any contest or struggle
  9. noun
    a hostile disagreement face-to-face
    synonyms: confrontation, face-off, showdown
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    type of:
    disagreement
    the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing
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