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

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 In their second meeting in a month, Moon said Kim Jong-un expressed a willingness to cooperate to end confrontation and work toward peace for the sake of a successful summit with Trump. The Christian Science Monitor, "North Korean summit still being planned after Trump cancellation," 29 May 2018 Black Lives Matter is not a term of confrontation or an exclusionary demand. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why You Need to Stop Saying "All Lives Matter"," 16 Apr. 2019 Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph says 25-year-old Martavious Banks is in critical condition Tuesday after he was shot during a confrontation with officers on Monday. Fox News, "The Latest: Police did not have cameras on in fatal shooting," 18 Sep. 2018 Simmons is accused of assaulting Ibraheem Iessa, 33, during a confrontation at an apartment complex on 3030 Dunvale Road on July 5. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Wounded man charged with assault of security officer in SW Houston," 10 July 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

15 May 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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!