[kon-truh-tahn; French kawntruh-tahn]
noun, plural contretemps [kon-truh-tahnz; French kawntruh-tahn] .
an inopportune occurrence; an embarrassing mischance: He caused a minor contretemps by knocking over his drink.

1675–85; < French, equivalent to contre- counter- + temps time (< Latin tempus); perhaps alteration (by folk etymology) of Middle French contrestant, present participle of contrester to oppose; see contrast Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
contretemps (ˈkɒntrəˌtɑːn, French kɔ̃trətɑ̃)
n , pl -temps
1.  an awkward or difficult situation or mishap
2.  fencing a feint made with the purpose of producing a counterthrust from one's opponent
3.  a small disagreement that is rather embarrassing
[C17: from French, from contre against + temps time, from Latin tempus]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1684, "a blunder in fencing," from Fr. contre-temps "motion out of time, unfortunate accident, bad times." As a ballet term, from 1706; as "an unfortunate accident," 1802; as "a dispute," from 1961.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
One of her lingering challenges will be the contretemps over the birds.
Over the years large hunks of its blowzy decoration have been removed, leaving
  it more curiosity than contretemps.
There's a contretemps with gangsters and a kidnapping before a happy ending can
  be realized.
That's a lesson that should have emerged clearly from this contretemps.
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