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

Further details on what led to the confrontation were not released. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "DeKalb woman convicted of throwing hot grease in victim’s face," 13 July 2018 From hilarious run-ins to dangerous confrontations, each episode will feature a variety of actors, musicians, athletes and influencers, such as Kristen Bell, Al Roker, Danny Trejo and Whitney Cummings. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Animal Planet Greenlights Star-Studded Animated Series 'Celebrity Animal Encounters' (Exclusive)," 12 July 2018 Rhys Hoskins could have put on his Patagonia trucker’s cap and his golf shorts and fled from the Phillies’ clubhouse, slipped behind the wheel, turned up the radio and put his confrontation with a Phillies fan out of his mind. Marcus Hayes,, "Rhys Hoskins regrets confrontation with fan | Marcus Hayes," 25 June 2018 Kirwan's escalating alcoholism led to confrontations with the other members of the band, including an altercation with Welch, and Fleetwood, who had become the acting manager of the band, fired him in 1972. NBC News, "Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dies at 68," 10 June 2018 On trade, China would surely prefer accommodation to confrontation. The Economist, "Donald Trump’s demolition theory of foreign policy won’t work," 7 June 2018 Their confrontation only ends when Reggie punches him in the face., "Dear White People," 8 May 2018 International Workers' Day is a public holiday in many countries, though activities are restricted in some places, sometimes leading to confrontations. Jim Ryan,, "Portland marks May Day with picnic instead of protests," 1 May 2018 But for communities of color, there is a fear that a call to police could lead to a potentially lethal confrontation. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland church plans to stop calling police," 29 Apr. 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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Statistics for confrontation

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on confrontation

What made you want to look up confrontation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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