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 ?
Don't be in haste to celebrate a victory, Porthos," interposed D'Artagnan; "never have we incurred a greater danger than we are now encountering.
The Digger kept on ahead of the party, crossing and recrossing the river in pursuit of game, until, unluckily, encountering a brother Digger, he stole off with him, without the ceremony of leave-taking.
I looked at Frances, she was putting her books into her cabas; having fastened the button, she raised her head; encountering my eye, she made a quiet, respectful obeisance, as bidding good afternoon, and was turning to depart:--
When Marmaduke first became the partner of young Effingham, he was quite the Quaker in externals; and it was too dangerous an experiment for the son to think of encountering the prejudices of the father on this subject.
Pursued by the French army of a hundred thousand men under the command of Bonaparte, encountering a population that was unfriendly to it, losing confidence in its allies, suffering from shortness of supplies, and compelled to act under conditions of war unlike anything that had been foreseen, the Russian army of thirty-five thousand men commanded by Kutuzov was hurriedly retreating along the Danube, stopping where overtaken by the enemy and fighting rearguard actions only as far as necessary to enable it to retreat without losing its heavy equipment.
For when they came to the banks of a rushing river that threatened to bar their way the little Queen kept steadily on, passing through the seeming flood in safety; and our travelers followed her without encountering a single drop of water.
Emily shrank--not from accepting the invitation--but from encountering Francine.