If I say "I will go to this place and meet this person" then I suppose it doesn't necessarily mean meeting them for the first time.

But if you say it's nice to meet somebody, that always seems to mean the first time. Unless you say it's nice to meet somebody again. You can say nice to see you, which doesn't imply that you haven't seen them before.

Is it just something particular about the phrase "nice to meet you" that it means first time. Whereas in other contexts it doesn't necessarily mean first time?

Are there other uses of "meet" that mean first time , besides "nice to meet you"?

If I were to say "nice to meet you" to somebody i'm meant to know well then it sounds a bit rude.. So I want to have a good idea of what other uses of meet imply first time.

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    "How I met your mother" - beginning of a relationship. "When did you meet?" It's clearly the first time given the context of a relationship discussion. – stevesliva Jul 28 '15 at 0:22
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    "Mr X., meet Ms. Y" - something you would only say at an introduction. – Neil W Jul 28 '15 at 2:02
  • Most words have multiple meanings. It's actually very rare for words to only have one meaning. – curiousdannii Sep 26 '15 at 11:43

meet has several meanings, and here it looks like you are using the one: being introduced to some one. This can only happen once. You can meet that person again, but then it is more appropriate to say nice to see you again. You would still say something like let's meet here tomorrow.


Assuming that you're ultimately attempting to avoid sounding "a bit rude" to somebody you're "meant to know well," maybe I can suggest an alternative to memorizing all of the:

other uses of "meet" that mean first time , besides "nice to meet you"

Perhaps, just make a simple alteration to your mental dictionary of idioms. Rather than use the phrase "nice to meet you," add a "with" in there. By telling someone it's "nice to meet with you," you could be using either meaning of the word "meet" quite purposefully and with intention.

You would be avoiding the potential for awkward situations during subsequent meet-ups without having to use the non-committal "nice to see you." At the same time, a new acquaintance would take it as you acknowledging being introduced for the first time.

Two birds, one stone?

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    it's so non conventional , interpretation could be so loose, it might be interpreted sexually like "oh that's a strange term".. They might think (quotes for their thoughts) "oh I see why they're saying" "it's nice to meet with you" "probably emphasis on nice".. "oh I know what he means". "quite subtle, not too overt".. "why is he making up a term unless he's trying to suggest something". – barlop Jul 28 '15 at 6:27
  • another issue is it creates some confusion until the word "with". – barlop Jul 28 '15 at 6:28
  • Also i'd like to know the rules or general rules for when meet means first time anyway. Rather than using a workaround – barlop Jul 28 '15 at 6:42
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    @barlop - I can't think of a single situation in which I would interpret, "Nice to meet with you" as having any sexual interpretation. – Jim Aug 27 '15 at 5:29
  • @barlop It's absolutely not sexual, and Rebecca's advice of thinking of "meet" and "meet with" as separate verbs is solid. – curiousdannii Sep 26 '15 at 11:44

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