1300-50;Middle Englishafrounten < Middle Frenchaf(f)ronter to strike in the face < Vulgar Latin*affrontāre, derivative of Latin phrase ad frontem at or toward the forehead (as the seat of one's feelings or dignity). See ad-, front
early 14c., from Old French afronter "to face, confront, to slap in the face" (13c.), from Late Latin affrontare "to strike against," from Latin ad frontem "to the face," from frons (genitive frontis) "forehead" (see front (n.)). Related: Affronted; affronting.