Definition of tête-à-tête in English:


Pronunciation /ˌtɛtaˈtɛt//ˌteɪtɑːˈteɪt/


  • 1A private conversation between two people.

    ‘it so happened that their tête-à-tête was in earshot’
    • ‘She smiled intimately as though we'd settled in front of the fire for a tête-à-tête.’
    • ‘I also tried to ignore the fact that he and Courtney had just had a little tête-à-tête that seemed to end poorly.’
    • ‘Our tête-à-tête was interrupted by someone calling me.’
    • ‘In short, their presence would be an inglorious end to our little tête-à-tête.’
    • ‘If 222 is perfect for romantic tête-à-têtes and intimate celebrations, it's because sometimes elegant food and perfect presentation just aren't enough.’
    • ‘As Drew got too loud to ignore, Alana glared at him, obviously frustrated that he was interrupting the planned tête-à-tête with Romeo.’
    • ‘Then after their little tête-à-tête on her lawn, he felt as though he might be in love with her.’
    • ‘Adrian Mutu, until recently a favourite for disposal, earned a reprieve when he spoke of his desire to prove himself in a tête-à-tête with his new manager over breakfast yesterday.’
    • ‘Usually he would have noted the conversation down; however he felt that this little tête-à-tête would be one he wasn't going to forget easily.’
    • ‘C.R. Gopinathan, one of the few people who has helped popularise classical music in this city, shares his thoughts on music, singers and the city's audience in a tête-à-tête with Subha J. Rao.’
    • ‘Just then Benny and the gang appeared through the gigantic garage door for the warehouse, which ended Taylor and Joy's tête-à-tête as soon as it started.’
    • ‘‘He told me he hoped he could persuade me,’ Schumer told reporters after an hour-long tête-à-tête with Roberts.’
    • ‘Mona mentioned nothing about her little tête-à-tête with Seth.’
    • ‘Jean's reveries in the first half hour remain largely colorless and cold, whereas color most often figures in their scenes together, and eventually takes over the film as their tête-à-tête intensifies.’
    • ‘But these tête-à-têtes with Simon Woods, new chief executive, and Julian de St Croix, head of planning, are crucial to the future of Scotland's national symphony orchestra.’
    • ‘During her hour-long tête-à-tête, the sensitive actress reveals that her idol is P.T.Usha and that she would have been an athlete if it had not been acting.’
    • ‘When Jerry arrives for a visit he interrupts Lucy in the midst of a tête-à-tête with gentleman caller Dan Leeson.’
    • ‘He may think that he has control in their tête-à-têtes, but Catherine never is anything but in dominance.’
    • ‘Alas, Jack's tête-à-tête with Gretchen was interrupted before he had a chance to say a single word to her.’
    • ‘For the next ten minutes, Jocelyn just watched the conversation between Nova and Jackie grew from small chitchat to a long and interesting tête-à-tête.’
    conversation, chat, cosy chat, talk, heart-to-heart, one-on-one, one-to-one
    View synonyms
  • 2An S-shaped sofa on which two people can sit face to face.

    • ‘The graceful, sinuous shape of this tête-à-tête illustrates the importance of lamination and epitomizes the Rococo Revival style.’
    • ‘A mid-nineteenth-century French form, the tête-à-tête, also known as a confident, was well-suited to the parlor as its two chairs facing in opposite directions and joined at the sides allowed for discreet conversation.’

adjective & adverb

  • Involving or happening between two people in private.

    as adjective ‘a tête-à-tête meal’
    as adverb ‘his business was conducted tête-à-tête’
    • ‘It is important to meet tête-à-tête to understand what kind of people they are and to feel how they see cooperation.’
    privately, in private
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: French, literally ‘head-to-head’.