Word of the Day

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

contretemps

\KAHN-truh-tahn\ , noun;
plural contretemps \-tahnz\
1.
An inopportune or embarrassing situation or event; a hitch.
Quotes:
Mrs. Post was the center of a notable contretemps when she spilled a spoonful of berries at a dinner of the Gourmet Society here in 1938.
-- "Emily Post Is Dead Here at 86; Writer was Arbiter of Etiquette", New York Times, September 27, 1960
He looked worried, distressed, more distressed than one should look in the face of a slight contretemps.
-- Anita Brookner, Undue Influence
Nathan was a fiercely ambitious and competitive man, as quick to take offenceas to give it in his business dealings, and it is not difficult to imagine him responding impetuously to such a contretemps.
-- Niall Ferguson, The House of Rothschild
Origin:
Contretemps comes from French, from contre, "against" (from Latin contra) + temps, "time" (from Latin tempus).
POWERED BY 4INFO
Related Searches
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Previous
Words of the Day
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help