con·tre·temps (kŏntrə-täɴ′, kôɴ′trə-täɴ)
n. pl. contretemps (-täɴz′, -täɴz)
1. An unforeseen event that disrupts the normal course of things; an inopportune occurrence.
2. An argument or dispute: "another France-versus-England contretemps" (Rob Hughes).
[French : contre-, against (from Latin contrā-; see CONTRA-) + temps, time (from Latin tempus).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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