Definition of confront in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈfrʌnt/


[with object]
1Come face to face with (someone) with hostile or argumentative intent: 300 policemen confronted an equal number of union supporters
More example sentences
  • Instead of spreading out and confronting their neighbors in hostile face-offs, foraging sanderlings bunched together in tight little flocks.
  • It is significant that all of the films are sympathetic to refugees and immigrants, who arrive in an alien country, often with no money, to confront hostile officials and racist slurs.
  • On the other side of the coin, we are getting more teachers who are now having to confront hostile parents, and they are able to exercise some of their own rights.
challenge, square up to, oppose, resist, defy, beard, tackle, attack, assault;
approach, face up to, face, meet, come face to face with, stand up to, brave, detain, accost, waylay, take aside, stop, halt
informal collar
British informal nobble
1.1(Of a problem or difficulty) present itself to (someone) so that action must be taken: the new government was confronted with many profound difficulties
More example sentences
  • But suppose we are confronted with a problem of courage?
  • But these efforts have been confronted with the difficulties which usually present themselves in such cases.
  • When most people are confronted with a problem, their instinct is to impose limits, get the problem under some kind of control.
trouble, bother, be in someone's way, burden, distress, cause trouble to, cause suffering to, face, beset, harass, worry, oppress, annoy, vex, irritate, exasperate, strain, stress, tax;
torment, plague, blight, bedevil, rack, smite, curse, harrow
rare discommode
1.2Face up to and deal with (a problem or difficulty): we knew we couldn’t ignore the race issue and decided we’d confront it head on
More example sentences
  • To them, the problem was confronted and dealt with.
  • I would confront my problems and deal with them.
  • Women from Africa, Asia and Latin America have employed different approaches to confront these problems.
tackle, get to grips with, apply oneself to, address oneself to, address, face, set about, go about, get to work at, busy oneself with, set one's hand to, grapple with, approach, take on, attend to, see to, throw oneself into, try to solve, try to deal with, try to cope with, learn to live with, try to sort out;
deal with, take measures about, take care of, pursue, handle, manage
informal have a crack at, have a go at, have a shot at, get stuck into
1.3Compel (someone) to face or consider something, especially by way of accusation: Merrill confronted him with her suspicions
More example sentences
  • This same question confronts anyone who considers the period from 1975 to 1983.
  • It is the man who was responsible for her father's death and she feels compelled to confront him.
  • Ella had seemed like the most obvious suspect, and I'd considered confronting her, but she had confronted me the first day I returned to school.
present, bring face to face, face
1.4Appear or be placed in front of (someone) so as to unsettle or threaten them: we were confronted with pictures of moving skeletons
More example sentences
  • Entering, you are confronted with what appears to be a blow-up of a Seventies newsprint photograph of a star.
  • The scene that confronted us appeared tranquil: a flock of vultures perched, on watch, up in a clump of trees overlooking a large herd of waterbuck browsing on the near bank.
  • Pushing open the door to investigate, I was confronted by what appeared to be a tea dance for - well, to put it politely - ladies of a certain age.


Mid 16th century: from French confronter, from medieval Latin confrontare, from Latin con- 'with' + frons, front- 'face'.

  • If you confront someone you are literally face to face with them. It comes from Latin confrontare, formed from con- ‘with’ and frons, front- ‘face’. Similarly affront (Middle English) comes from an Old French source meaning ‘to strike someone on the forehead, insult them to their face’ from Latin ad frontem ‘to the face’.

Words that rhyme with confront

affront, blunt, brunt, bunt, front, Granth, grunt, hunt, mahant, runt, shunt, stunt, up-front

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|front

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