9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
a meeting with a person or thing, especially a casual, unexpected, or brief meeting:
Our running into each other was merely a chance encounter.
a meeting of persons or groups that are in conflict or opposition; combat; battle:
Another such encounter and we may lose the war.
Psychology. a meeting of two or more people, as the members of an encounter group or a number of married couples (marriage encounter) conducted to promote direct emotional confrontations among the participants, especially as a form of therapy (encounter therapy)
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
Related forms
encounterer, noun
preencounter, noun, verb (used with object)
reencounter, verb, noun
unencountered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for encountered
  • It has been encountered in a range of animal species, including chimpanzees, but had never been previously shown in elephants.
  • Here, for the first time, he encountered the logistical challenges he would face during the ensuing years of the war.
  • At a time when no roads, fences or telegraph poles would be encountered.
  • As he pondered his course of action, he encountered a far more lethal obstacle.
  • To many people, however, he now seems remote and musty-the author of flaking volumes encountered in country book barns.
  • Some scientists have already encountered tsunami rubble at sea.
  • One concept not encountered on these premises is that of gravity acting on photons from a position ahead of the photon.
  • Although no one knows what those mummies were eating, it's safe to say they never encountered a corn dog.
  • As any good sailor knows, the winds encountered play a significant role in how a ship handles at sea.
  • But other endangered species in the wild might not be so lucky if they encountered similarly tainted food.
British Dictionary definitions for encountered


to come upon or meet casually or unexpectedly
to come into conflict with (an enemy, army, etc) in battle or contest
(transitive) 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
encounterer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French encontrer, from Vulgar Latin incontrāre (unattested), from Latin in-² + contrā against, opposite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for encountered



c.1300, "meeting of adversaries, confrontation," from Old French encontre "meeting; fight; opportunity," noun use of preposition/adverb encontre "against, counter to" from Late Latin incontra "in front of," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + contra "against" (see contra). Modern use of the word in psychology is from 1967, from the work of U.S. psychologist Carl Rogers (1902-1987). Encounter group attested from 1967.


c.1300, "to meet as an adversary," from Old French encontrer "confront," from encontre (see encounter (n.). Weakened sense of "casually meet" first recorded in English early 16c. Related: Encountered; encountering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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