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Today's Word "contretemps"

An inopportune situation on

Published in Vocabulary

contretemps \KAHN-truh-tahn\ (noun) plural contretemps \-tahnz\ - An inopportune or embarrassing situation or event; a hitch.

"On the card nest to them was written, 'With my most humble apologies for the contretemps of this afternoon. I hope I may be allowed to invite you for dinner after an appropriate period of penance. Josh Hillman.'" -- Judith Krantz, 'Scruples'

Contretemps comes from French, from contre, "against" (from Latin contra) + temps, "time" (from Latin tempus).

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