encountered; encounters; encountering

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
    see moresee less
    cross, intersect
    meet at a point
    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
    see moresee less
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  4. verb
    experience as a reaction
    synonyms: meet, receive
    see moresee less
    type of:
    experience, have
  5. noun
    a casual or unexpected convergence
    “there was a brief encounter in the hallway”
    synonyms: meeting
    see moresee less
    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:
    the occurrence of two or more things coming together
  6. noun
    a casual meeting with a person or thing
    synonyms: coming upon
    see moresee less
    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
    participate in games or sport
    employ in a game or in a specific position
    use or move
    shoot or hit in a particular manner
    see moresee less
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    confront, face
    oppose, as in hostility or a competition
    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
    see moresee less
    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
    see moresee less
    type of:
    the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘encounter'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up encounter for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer