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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



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)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. A face-to-face, usually hostile meeting:
2. A state of open, prolonged fighting:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مُواجَهَه، مُجابَهَه
beinn árekstur
karşı karşıya gelmeyüzleştirme


[ˌkɒnfrənˈteɪʃən] Nenfrentamiento m, confrontación f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌkɒnfrʌnˈteɪʃən] n (= conflict) → affrontement m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nKonfrontation f (also Pol); (defiant also) → Auseinandersetzung f; (with witnesses, evidence etc) → Gegenüberstellung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌkɒnfrənˈteɪʃən] nscontro
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n confrontación f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Army soldiers and armed Hezbollah members engaged in a brief confrontation Friday, the Central News Agency reported.
Confrontation with India surely recoils on the safety and rights of Indian Muslims.
"Some say the given situation is confrontation of Jeenbekov and Atambayev.
"What is coming from the US is scary, as it suggests confrontation. And the confrontation will not take place in Iran, but in Lebanon, at least politically; and we will have to pay the price of the confrontation," he said.
The 28th international conference of the High Council for Islamic Affairs, titled 'terrorism making and its risks and the inevitability of confrontation and its mechanism' -- Photo by:Mohamed al-Housary/Egypt Today CAIRO -- 26 February 2018: All kinds of religious-based organizations and groups are posing a threat to religions and countries, Minister of Endowments (Awqaf) Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said Monday February 26.
PESHAWAR -- Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao has said that confrontation between the government and state institutions is detrimental to the country's future, especially for the rights of the Pakhtuns.
Peshawar -- Chairman Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said that confrontation between the state and the institutions would be detrimental to the country future and especially to the rights of pakhtoons.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif calls for the settlement of the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia in interests of the whole Middle-East region.
Islamabad -- Former Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Saturday that statements being issued by PML-N leaders are creating atmosphere of confrontation among institutions.