con·​fron·​ta·​tion | \ˌkän-(ˌ)frən-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of confrontation 

: the act of confronting : the state of being confronted: such as

a : a face-to-face meeting a confrontation between the suspect and the victim

b : the clashing of forces or ideas : conflict a violent confrontation between rival gangs

c : comparison The flashbacks bring into meaningful confrontation present and past, near and far.— R. J. Clements

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Other Words from confrontation

confrontational \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)frən-​ˈtā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
confrontationalist \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)frən-​ˈtā-​sh(ə-​)nə-​list \ noun
confrontationist \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)frən-​ˈtā-​sh(ə-​)nist \ noun or adjective

Examples of confrontation in a Sentence

There were several violent confrontations between rival gangs. He would prefer not to have a confrontation with the authorities. a series of confrontations between residents and police We want cooperation, not confrontation. We seek to avoid military confrontation at all costs.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Microsoft’s voice assistant will play a major role in the upcoming confrontation between America’s tech giants. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The headphone wars have begun," 3 Oct. 2018 As protests culminating in violent confrontations with police and mass arrests have grown, opposition parties — many of them Yameen's own former political partners — formed an alliance in exile with the aim of unseating him. Bharatha Mallawarachi, Fox News, "Maldivian authorities assure free vote amid fears of rigging," 22 Sep. 2018 Their surprising split culminated in a shocking confrontation last May when Tarek ran from their Orange County, California, home holding a firearm. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know On How Flip Or Flop Came To Be, According To Tarek El Moussa," 24 Aug. 2018 Since no actual killer whales were involved in this experiment, Dr Bowers cannot say what would have happened in any subsequent confrontation. The Economist, "When faced with a killer whale should you fight or flee?," 14 June 2018 The arrival of a second visitor, a police officer (Ebert, again), leads to a tense confrontation that soon turns violent. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pass Over': Theater Review," 19 June 2018 Taurus Expect lots of monumental realizations over the next several weeks, but try to avoid unnecessary confrontation after Thursday, July 26 when Mercury begins its retrograde cycle. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's July 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 29 June 2018 Prince Mohammed told The Wall Street Journal in March that the world needed to put economic pressure on Iran to avoid a direct military confrontation. Summer Said, WSJ, "Trump’s Bid to Weaken Iran Is Strengthening the Saudi Economy," 28 June 2018 This time Marshall was prepared for a confrontation. John H. Tucker, Daily Intelligencer, "Rape at Rosie’s," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confrontation.' 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 confrontation

1632, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for confrontation

see confront

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for confrontation

The first known use of confrontation was in 1632

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English Language Learners Definition of confrontation

: a situation in which people, groups, etc., fight, oppose, or challenge each other in an angry way

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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