tête-à-tête

[ teyt-uh-teyt, tet-uh-tet; French te-ta-tet ]
/ ˈteɪt əˈteɪt, ˈtɛt əˈtɛt; French tɛ taˈtɛt /

noun, plural tête-à-têtes, French tête-à-tête.

a private conversation or interview, usually between two people.
Also called vis-à-vis. a sofa shaped like an S so two people are able to converse face to face.

adjective

of, between, or for two persons together without others.

adverb

(of two persons) together in private: to sit tête-à-tête.

QUIZZES

Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of tête-à-tête

1690–1700; < French: literally, head to head
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for tete-a-tete

British Dictionary definitions for tete-a-tete

tête-à-tête
/ (ˌteɪtəˈteɪt) /

noun plural -têtes or -tête

  1. a private conversation between two people
  2. (as modifier)a tête-à-tête conversation
a small sofa for two people, esp one that is S-shaped in plan so that the sitters are almost face to face

adverb

intimately; in private

Word Origin for tête-à-tête

C17: from French, literally: head to head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for tete-a-tete

tête-à-tête
[ (tayt-uh-tayt) ]

An intimate meeting or conversation between two individuals. From French, meaning “head to head.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.