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 ?
Still, the traveller dashed forward at the same reckless pace, regardless alike of the dirt and wet which flew about his head, the profound darkness of the night, and the probability of encountering some desperate characters abroad.
And how unnatural it seemed for a sober man to be plodding wearily along through miry roads, encountering the rude buffets of the wind and pelting of the rain, when there was a clean floor covered with crisp white sand, a well swept hearth, a blazing fire, a table decorated with white cloth, bright pewter flagons, and other tempting preparations for a well- cooked meal--when there were these things, and company disposed to make the most of them, all ready to his hand, and entreating him to enjoyment!
Reinforcing himself, after his shake, with a little brandy and much swearing, he walked as fast as he could to a coppice on his right hand, through which it occurred to him that he could make his way to Batherley without danger of encountering any member of the hunt.