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1. The act of confronting or the state of being confronted, especially a meeting face to face.
a. A conflict involving armed forces: a nuclear confrontation.
b. Discord or a clash of opinions and ideas: an age of ideological confrontation.
3. A focused comparison: an essay that brought elements of biography, autobiography, and general European history into powerful, meaningful confrontation.

con′fron·ta′tion·al adj.
con′fron·ta′tion·ist n.


(ˌkɒnfrʌnˈteɪʃən) or archaic


1. the act or an instance of confronting
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a situation of mutual hostility between two powers or nations without open warfare
3. a state of conflict between two antagonistic forces, creeds, or ideas etc
ˌconfronˈtational adj


(ˌkɒn frənˈteɪ ʃən, -frʌn-)

1. an act of confronting.
2. the state of being confronted.
3. a meeting of persons face to face.
4. an open conflict of opposing ideas, forces, etc.



beard the lion in his den To confront face-to-face; to oppose another boldly and openly on his turf; to challenge. W. S. Gilbert used this expression in Iolanthe (1882).

bell the cat To dare to confront danger at its source, despite overwhelming odds. The allusion is to a fable recounted in Langland’s Piers Plowman (1377). A group of mice continually harassed by a certain cat met to decide what to do about the problem. One old mouse suggested that a bell hung around the cat’s neck would serve to warn the mice of the feline’s approach. This idea was greeted with much enthusiasm until a bright young mouse brought up the question, “But who will bell the cat?”

come to grips with To face up to a problematic situation and deal or cope with it; to tackle a problem head-on in an attempt to get it under control; to grapple or struggle with a dilemma or difficulty. The idea of confronting an opposing force suggests that the expression may derive from a sport such as wrestling. This theory is highly conjectural, however, because the many meanings and uses of grip allow for a variety of possible explanations.

face the music To confront stoically the consequences of one’s deeds; to face up to an unpleasant or trying experience. This expression may have originated in the theater, where actors and actresses nervously awaited their cues to come onstage and thus “face the music” in the pit. Another origin may lie in the military practice of mustering soldiers in full battle regalia for inspection, often at the call of a bugle. Figuratively, this term refers to a personal confrontation for which one must gather courage.

in the teeth of In direct opposition to; straight against, without a buffer; confronting, face to face; in defiance or in spite of. This expression of unknown origin dates from the 13th century. The oldest examples of its use describe direct confrontation between two forces:

A Hector, who no less desires to meet them in the teeth. (Arthur Hall, tr., Ten Books of Homer’s Iliad, 1581)

Since the 18th century, in the teeth of has broadened in its applicability to include confrontations of a less physical or tangible nature, such as between contradictory ideas.

A judge has no right to enter judgement in the teeth of the finding of a jury. (Law Times, June 13, 1885)

The expression can also mean ‘in the face or presence of.’

They were in fact in the very teeth of starvation. (Charles Lamb, Elia, 1825)

showdown A decisive confrontation between opposing parties to settle a dispute; a revelation of facts and other information, usually in hopes of resolving an issue. In poker, a showdown is the laying down of one’s cards, face up, to determine the winner of that hand. Showdown has assumed its figurative implications by extension.

The opening game of the showdown Yankees-Red Sox series … (AP wire story, September 24, 1949)

square off To take on a defensive stance; to gird up one’s loins. This phrase originated and is still used as a boxing term for the initial positions that boxers assume at the beginning of a round. The expression maintains widespread figurative use.

The bow appeared to be rearing up to square off at the midday sun. (J. H. Beadle, Undeveloped West, 1873)

take the bull by the horns To attack a problem head-on; to confront without fear or evasiveness; to face up to danger, difficulty or unpleasantness without shrinking. In bullfighting, a matador grasps the horns of a bull about to toss him. Jonathan Swift used the expression in 1711:

To engage with France, was to take a bull by the horns. (Conduct of Allies)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.confrontation - a bold challengeconfrontation - a bold challenge      
challenge - a call to engage in a contest or fight
2.confrontation - discord resulting from a clash of ideas or opinions
dissension, discord - disagreement among those expected to cooperate
3.confrontation - a hostile disagreement face-to-faceconfrontation - a hostile disagreement face-to-face
disagreement - the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing
4.confrontation - the act of hostile groups opposing each other; "the government was not ready for a confrontation with the unions"; "the invaders encountered stiff opposition"
strikebreaking - confrontational activities intended to break up a strike by workers
resistance - group action in opposition to those in power
5.confrontation - a focussed comparison; bringing together for a careful comparison
comparing, comparison - the act of examining resemblances; "they made a comparison of noise levels"; "the fractions selected for comparison must require pupils to consider both numerator and denominator"


noun conflict, fight, crisis, contest, set-to (informal), encounter, showdown (informal), head-to-head, face-off (slang) This issue could lead to a military confrontation.


1. A face-to-face, usually hostile meeting:
2. A state of open, prolonged fighting:
مُواجَهَه، مُجابَهَه
beinn árekstur
karşı karşıya gelmeyüzleştirme


[ˌkɒnfrənˈteɪʃən] Nenfrentamiento m, confrontación f


[ˌkɒnfrʌnˈteɪʃən] n (= conflict) → affrontement m


nKonfrontation f (also Pol); (defiant also) → Auseinandersetzung f; (with witnesses, evidence etc) → Gegenüberstellung f


[ˌkɒnfrənˈteɪʃən] nscontro


(kənˈfrant) verb
1. to bring face to face with. He was confronted with the evidence of his crime.
2. to face in a hostile manner; to oppose. They confronted the enemy at dawn.
ˌconfronˈtation (kon-) noun


n confrontación f
References in periodicals archive ?
Israel has also raised concerns that Russian involvement on Assad's side in the conflict in Syria could accidentally lead to confrontations between Russian and Israeli forces there.
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JERUSALEM, August 26, 2014 (WAFA) -- Confrontations erupted between Israeli Police and Palestinian youths late Tuesday night across the old city of Jerusalem and the nearby districts, according to media and local sources.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian national volleyball team thrashed their polish guests 3-1 in their first of the four FIVB World League confrontations at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Friday evening.
Jenin, 19 August --(BNA) --A 22 young Palestinian citizen was shot with a metal bullet in his leg and a number of suffocation cases were reported today following confrontations with Israeli forces in Jab' and Alsaila Alharthia.
The survey identifies several key factors that may contribute to Americans' reticence to engage in teamwork, including verbal and physical confrontations, scapegoating, and spreading rumors.
Local sources said that some 50 Israeli soldiers raided the camp through its main entrance, fired live and metal-coated bullets and threw tear gas bombs toward the Palestinians, following confrontations erupted with the Palestinian youths in the camp.
Such confrontations were associated with worse outcomes in cognitive behavioral therapy but not in motivational interviewing or 12-Step facilitation.
They said confrontations erupted after the Israeli forces stromed the town
The CM further said that these confrontations between political groups were devastating the nation for last 62 years.
The sources said that confrontations between the army and the Houthis who used heavy and medium weapons killed and injured a number of people from both sides in Al-Menzala, Hasama, Al-Malahidh and Ghamir districts.
During a weekend, the Street Angels form part of the police night time Operation Embrace which is designed to place uniformed police officers on foot at the hotspot locations for violent confrontations.