encounter

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encounter

[en′kau̇n·tər]
(physical chemistry)
A group of collisions, each of which consists of two molecules that collide without reacting and do not separate immediately because of the cage of surrounding molecules.

encounter

any meeting between two or more people in a face-to-face interaction. Everyday life is made up of a series of such interactions, some of them with persons we know well, but many others with people with whom we may have only a fleeting contact. Described by GOFFMAN (1961b,1967,1971) as situations of copresence, encounters involve SOCIAL ACTORS in ‘positionings’ of the body and knowledgeable attention to FACE WORK, creating and preserving the numerous, distinctive kinds of encounter that can be observed. See also FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTION, INTERACTION ORDER AND INTERACTION RITUAL.
References in classic literature ?
His experience had been to live always close by the sea; humans he had always encountered close by the sea; and down-hill had invariably led to the sea.
Pungent it was in his nostrils, but never, since first he had smelled out the footprints of man, had he encountered such a scent.
Next, something brushed past him, and he encountered it with a snarl and a splashing of his forepaws.
In the meantime Jerry continued to run, up port side and down starboard side, from stern to bow and back again, wagging his stump tail and laughing friendliness to the many two-legged gods he encountered.
I was learning more and more seamanship; and one clear day--a thing we rarely encountered now--I had the satisfaction of running and handling the Ghost and picking up the boats myself.
Gales we encountered now and again, for it was a raw and stormy region, and, in the middle of June, a typhoon most memorable to me and most important because of the changes wrought through it upon my future.
I encountered a couple of hungry-looking dogs, but both hurried circuitously away from the advances I made them.
With that he put spurs to his horse, and rode away; at first plashing heavily through the mire at a smart trot, but gradually increasing in speed until the last sound of his horse's hoofs died away upon the wind; when he was again hurrying on at the same furious gallop, which had been his pace when the locksmith first encountered him.
At last in the desperation of my position, my mind turned to the animal men I had encountered.
True, running away from Queen Anne, he had later encountered them on the Yukon and cultivated an acquaintance with them--the pioneer ones who crossed the passes on the trail of the men who had opened up the first diggings.
The next time he encountered her she had turned away from him angrily and contemptuously.
But when to his natural excellences were added the romance that linked with his name and the enormous wealth that was his, practically every free woman he encountered measured him with an appraising and delighted eye, to say nothing of more than one woman who was not free.