con·​fron·​ta·​tion | \ ˌkän-(ˌ)frən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce confrontation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from confrontation

confrontational \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)frən-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce confrontational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
confrontationalist \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)frən-​ˈtā-​sh(ə-​)nə-​list How to pronounce confrontationalist (audio) \ noun
confrontationist \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)frən-​ˈtā-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce confrontationist (audio) \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Investigators said the brawl at the park may have stemmed from an earlier confrontation at a nearby taco shop. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2 arrested in April deadly fight at park in Lincoln Park," 7 June 2019 The prolonged period of uncertainty has intensified political divisions over Brexit and led to some verbal confrontations in London. Lorne Cook, The Seattle Times, "UK Parliament moves to make ‘no-deal’ Brexit more difficult," 8 Jan. 2019 Authorities have released the 911 call and police audio from the fatal shooting of a Deptford shoplifting suspect earlier this month, illustrating how the incident escalated to a deadly confrontation. Aubrey Nagle,, "Protesters rally in Rittenhouse Square, Senior Week puts the 'wild' in Wildwood | Morning Newsletter," 20 June 2018 The video doesn't show what led to the confrontation. CBS News, "Mayor says body camera footage will show what led to cops punching woman on N.J. beach," 29 May 2018 Trump has a tendency to view his presidency as a reality television show where what’s important are storylines, confrontations, and plot twists. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Trump doesn’t want the wall. He wants a fight about the wall.," 12 Dec. 2018 Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said Tuesday that an investigation is underway to determine why the officers did not have their cameras on during the confrontation with and shooting of 25-year-old Martavious Banks. Fox News, "The Latest: Police did not have cameras on in fatal shooting," 18 Sep. 2018 As much as this planet is linked to confrontation and, yes, aggression, leaning into that influence during its backspin may come back and bite you later., "Mars Retrograde Could Hit The Brakes On Your Summer Plans," 25 June 2018 The time has passed when the enemy sets the rules of confrontation and alone changes the conflict’s equations. Noga Tarnopolsky,, "Palestinian groups, acting alone, announce cease-fire with Israel after latest Gaza violence," 30 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of confrontation

1632, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for confrontation

see confront

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about confrontation

Statistics for confrontation

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confrontation

The first known use of confrontation was in 1632

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for confrontation



English Language Learners Definition of confrontation

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!