Definition of contretemps noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈkɒntrətɒ̃//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntrətɑ̃ː//
, NAmE//ˈkɔːntrətɑ̃ː//
(pl. contretemps) (from French, formal or humorous)
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an unfortunate event or embarrassing disagreement with another person They have been ignoring me since our last contretemps. Word Originlate 17th cent. (originally as a fencing term, denoting a thrust made at an inopportune moment): French, originally ‘motion out of time’, from contre- ‘against’ + temps ‘time’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: contretemps