word-forming element meaning "against, in opposition," from Latin adverb and preposition contra "against" (see contra (prep., adv.)). The Latin word was used as a prefix in Late Latin. In French, it became contre- and passed into English as counter-. The Old English equivalent was wiðer (surviving in withers and widdershins), from wið "with, against."
c. 1300, "meeting of adversaries, confrontation," from Old French encontre "meeting; fight; opportunity" (12c.), noun use of preposition/adverb encontre "against, counter to" from Late Latin incontra "in front of," from Latin in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + contra "against" (see contra (prep., adv.)). Modern use of the word in psychology is from 1967, from the work of U.S. psychologist Carl Rogers. Encounter group attested from 1967.
c. 1300, "to meet as an adversary," from Old French encontrer "meet, come across; confront, fight, oppose," from encontre "a meeting; a fight; opportunity" (12c.), noun use of preposition/adverb encontre "against, counter to" from Late Latin incontra "in front of," from Latin in-"in" (from PIE root *en "in") + contra "against" (see contra). Weakened sense of "meet casually or unexpectedly" first recorded in English early 16c. Related: Encountered; encountering.
word-forming element meaning "around, round about, all around, on all sides," from Latin adverb and preposition circum "around, round about," literally "in a circle," probably accusative form of circus "ring" (see circus). The Latin word was commonly used in word-formation. In French, the element became circon-; Kitchin points out that con for cum is common even in classical Latin. For sense development, compare German rings "around."
early 14c., "done with, over, existing no more," a variant of passed, past participle of passen "go by" (see pass (v.)). Meaning "gone by, belonging to a time previous to this" is from mid-14c. The grammatical sense of "expressing past action or state" is from 1520s; past participle is recorded by 1775; past tense from 1650s. As a preposition, "beyond in time or position," c. 1300, from the adjective.