face-off

A face-off is an in-person confrontation, like the face-off between rival ice hockey players or a face-off between presidential candidates on a debate stage.

You can use the noun face-off whenever two people have a face-to-face showdown. You could even describe the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr as a face-off (a deadly one, as it turned out). Rival groups or teams confronting each other is also a face-off, like the big championship face-off at the end of basketball season. This sports context is the way the word was originally used, dating from at least 1886.

Definitions of face-off
  1. noun
    a hostile disagreement face-to-face
    synonyms: confrontation, encounter, showdown
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    type of:
    disagreement
    the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing
  2. noun
    (ice hockey) the method of starting play; a referee drops the puck between two opposing players
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    type of:
    beginning, commencement, start
    the act of starting something
Word Family
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