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)
c.1300, "meeting of adversaries," from O.Fr. encountrer "confront," from encontre (prep. and adv.) "against, counter to," from L.L. incontra "in front of," from L. in- "in" + contra "against." Weakened sense of "casually meet" first recorded in English early 16c. Related: Encountered; encountering.