• WordNet 3.6
    • n contretemps an awkward clash "he tried to smooth over his contretemps with the policeman"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Contretemps An unexpected and untoward accident; something inopportune or embarrassing; a hitch. "In this unhappy contretemps ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n contretemps An unexpected and untoward event; an embarrassing conjuncture; a “hitch.”
    • n contretemps In music, same as syncopation.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Contretemps kon-tr-tang′ something happening inopportunely or at the wrong time, anything embarrassing, a hitch.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. contre,L. conta,) + temps, time, fr. L. tempus,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. contre—L. contra, against, and Fr. temps—L. tempus, time.


In literature:

Yes; it was all pleasant except that last contretemps.
"Vixen, Volume II." by M. E. Braddon
Yet he was not pleased at the unexpected contretemps.
"The Slave of Silence" by Fred M. White
I must tell you of one contretemps, however, in case you, like us, take the express train from the Quai d'Orsay.
"In Château Land" by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
I had no idea of such a contretemps, or such a regrettable scene as this!
"Hushed Up" by William Le Queux
It was during this illness that the first real contretemps occurred.
"Jennie Gerhardt" by Theodore Dreiser
In a way this contretemps led to the founding of Quebec.
"Old Quebec" by Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan
At the same time Whitaker became aware of a contretemps.
"The Destroying Angel" by Louis Joseph Vance
I will now glance at the hundredth part of the contretemps which were continually annoying me.
"The Memoirs of Count Carlo Gozzi" by Count Carlo Gozzi
This contretemps ruined his hopes.
"The Mysteries of Paris, Volume 2 of 6" by Eugène Sue
The staggering contretemps struck the color from his face and left every nerve raw and quivering.
"The Valiants of Virginia" by Hallie Erminie Rives

In news:

The root of this week's contretemps is one I've come to know well: bad communication.
54 am After a contretemps at a restaurant, a man wearing a "Brooklyn" jacket headed toward the Plaza.
But Did His Contraception Contretemps Cost The GOP Valuable Votes.
I AM bemused by the contretemps between Jon Stewart, of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, and my longtime friend Jim Cramer of CNBC.
Slate 's sports podcast on Jovan Belcher, Alabama sports radio host Paul Finebaum, and the contretemps over the Spurs resting their starters.
Will Barack Obama lose the votes of Catholics in November over the contraception contretemps, even after Friday's attempt at "accommodation".
If it proves nothing else, the latest contretemps in the Pillowtex drama demonstrates at least one thing: economies may evolve, companies may die, but chargebacks live on and on.