con路​tre路​temps | \ 藞k盲n-tr蓹-藢t盲鈦军/span> How to pronounce contretemps (audio) , k艒鈦?tr蓹-t盲鈦军/span> How to pronounce contretemps (audio) \
plural contretemps\ 藞k盲n-​tr蓹-​(藢)t盲鈦?z) How to pronounce contretemps (audio) \

Definition of contretemps

1 : an inopportune or embarrassing occurrence or situation

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Examples of contretemps in a Sentence

The senator dismissed his disagreement with the President as a minor contretemps. there was a bit of a contretemps over the seating arrangements for the upcoming wedding

Recent Examples on the Web

And for Ben Penn to receive the same treatment as George Eaton did in the Scruton contretemps: suspension and demotion, amid calls for his outright dismissal. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Ben Penn鈥檚 Bad-Faith Hit Job on Leif Olson," 3 Sep. 2019 Trump inserted himself into the latest Brexit contretemps, disregarding the long-standing norm of U.S. presidents staying out of democratic allies鈥 domestic politics. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, "Suspending Parliament to boost Brexit, Britain鈥檚 Boris Johnson sparks outrage," 28 Aug. 2019 The next day, Richardson and Cora found themselves in the Cosmopolitan Saloon, where a mutual friend named Dr. Mills, hoping to smooth over the contretemps, introduced them. Gary Kamiya,, "San Francisco love story: A hooker, her gambling man and a hanging," 23 Aug. 2019 Washington in the Trump era can often feel like a sort of bumper-car ride of competing news cycles, devolving into a pileup of rival controversies, scandals, and social-media contretemps. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "鈥淐ongratulations Again, Mr. President鈥滫 Trump and the Co-opting of the G.O.P.," 12 July 2019 The contretemps began when Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, asked Ms. Pelosi about the squad鈥檚 fury over the border aid package. New York Times, "Tensions Between Pelosi and Progressive Democrats of 鈥榯he Squad鈥 Burst Into Flame," 9 July 2019 Former Vice President Joe Biden, despite the contretemps following his seemingly nostalgic comments about working with segregationists early in his Senate career, retains a sizable lead in early primary states., "Despite missteps, Joe Biden continues to lead poll; Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders look to take advantage," 25 June 2019 And there were brief reminders of another contretemps that Mr. Trump set off just before leaving the United States. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Trump Insults London Mayor as 鈥楲oser鈥 as He Pays Tribute to the Queen," 3 June 2019 And the contretemps contains a revealing look at the sausage-making of investigative reporting and the sometimes murky dance between reporters and their unnamed sources. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Why CNN is standing by a Michael Cohen story that his lawyer calls false," 29 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contretemps.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contretemps

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contretemps

French, from contre- counter- + temps time, from Latin tempus

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Statistics for contretemps

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for contretemps

The first known use of contretemps was in 1769

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English Language Learners Definition of contretemps

: an unfortunate or embarrassing event, argument, or disagreement

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recurring in steady succession

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