Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
contretemps (plural contretemps)
- 1896 - Bret Harte, The Indiscretion of Elsbeth
- "I see that you are a born American citizen--and an earlier knowledge of that fact would have prevented this little contretemps. You are aware, Mr. Hoffman, that your name is German?"
- 1934 - Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pirates of Venus, chapter 12
- What a strange contretemps! Its suddenness left me temporarily speechless; the embarrassment of Duare was only too obvious. Yet it was that unusual paradox, a happy contretemps--for me at least.
- 1960 - "Emily Post Is Dead Here at 86; Writer was Arbiter of Etiquette", New York Times, September 27
- Mrs. Post was the center of a notable contretemps when she spilled a spoonful of berries at a dinner of the Gourmet Society here in 1938.
- 2004 - Sunday Oregonian, June 13
- It won't rank with the doping scandals in track and field and baseball's steroid controversy but the Rose Cup race had its own little contretemps last year.
- 1991, Rebecca Goldstein, The Dark Sister, Penguin Books, 1993, p.37:
- The small flap over the pronunciation of her name was but the first, and the least, of the contretemps of the succeeding session.
an unforeseen or embarrassing event
(fencing) ill-timed pass