I met a childhood friend after over 15 years. It was myself, my spouse (who had never met the friend), and this friend.

Would I use reunion for this situation, as it always makes me feel it's for a group of people, and LDOCE says:

1 a social meeting of people who have not met for a long time, especially people who were at school or college together

2 when people are brought together again after a period of being separated

reunion with

Joseph's eventual reunion with his brother

The example for the second definition seems to suit what I'm looking for, but I'm not sure yet.

Is it really odd to use the word for meeting only one person, or is it just my false assumption?

(From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/reunion)

  • 1
    The minimum number required for a reunion is two. – Robusto Feb 7 '15 at 0:24
  • 2
    If you've lost a lot of weight recently, you could have a nice reunion with your toes. "Oh, hello, long time no see!" – Gerger Feb 7 '15 at 0:31
  • @Gerger Hahaha! I love that. – Neeku Feb 7 '15 at 19:53

There is nothing wrong with using the word reunion for as few as two people, although it is more commonly associated with groups. For instance, consider Paul Simon's song Mother and Child Reunion.

If you feel that the term makes it sound like a bigger event than it really was, try recasting it as "I reunited with an old friend" instead.

| improve this answer | |
  • It's only a motion away! – user98990 Feb 7 '15 at 3:56
  • I thought that was "it's only an ocean away"... – Sven Yargs Feb 7 '15 at 4:06
  • It's only emotion aweigh? – Brian Hitchcock Feb 7 '15 at 10:45
  • Guys! You know lyrics sites are made for a reason (the reliable ones at least!) :P – Neeku Feb 7 '15 at 19:57

It is perfectly correct to say you are having a reunion with an old friend. Indeed you could even say I was reunited with my old friend of 15 years ago.

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Nothing wrong with using reunion in your case, I recognize. But if you are not comfortable with it, as you were only three people dare I say the following might help:

I had a get together with a childhood friend.

Get-together:an informal and usually small social gathering

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I would not use 'reunion' to refer to two persons meeting each other again after a long time period had passed. If you need an alternative, you could consider reunitement. Although it too can refer to a group >2 meeting, still it's unique.


The OED lists

1611 R. Cotgrave Dict. French & Eng. Tongues Reunion, a reunion, reunitement, reconcilement.

1897 Public Opinion 22 15/2 The poet always looked to a reunitement beyond death.

1951 L. Bertrand tr. S. Bolivar Sel. Writings I. 261 You must be profuse to demonstrate: first, the reunitement of Colombia; second, its military glory; third, the enumeration of its free provinces.

2005 W. Walling Mind Games xxx. 220 The longer Klavik resisted ‘guidance’, the longer would be the protracted wait until reunitement with his companions.

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  • "Reunitement" will always sound awkward. – Dave Mulligan Feb 7 '15 at 8:17
  • @DaveMulligan like saying your name over and over. Whatever, I don't think in terms of 'always' and 'never'. – pazzo Feb 7 '15 at 9:33

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