1. A meeting, especially one that is unplanned, unexpected, or brief: a chance encounter in the park.
2. A hostile or adversarial confrontation: a tense naval encounter.
v. en·coun·tered, en·coun·ter·ing, en·coun·ters
1. To meet, especially unexpectedly; come upon: encountered an old friend on the street.
2. To confront in battle or competition: encountered last year's champion.
3. To experience or undergo: We have encountered numerous obstacles.
To meet, especially unexpectedly.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.