face: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (fās), [key]
— n., v., faced, fac•ing.
  1. the front part of the head, from the forehead to the chin.
  2. a look or expression on this part: a sad face.
  3. an expression or look that indicates ridicule, disgust, etc.; grimace: The child put on a face when told to go to bed.
  4. cosmetics; makeup: Excuse me while I go to the powder room to put on my face.
  5. impudence; boldness: to have the face to ask such a rude question.
  6. outward appearance: These are just old problems with new faces. The future presented a fair face to the fortunate youth.
  7. outward show or pretense, esp. as a means of preserving one's dignity or of concealing a detrimental fact, condition, etc.: Though shamed beyond words, he managed to show a bold face.
  8. good reputation; dignity; prestige: They hushed up the family scandal to preserve face.
  9. the amount specified in a bill or note, exclusive of interest.
  10. the manifest sense or express terms, as of a document.
  11. the geographic characteristics or general appearance of a land surface.
  12. the surface: the face of the earth.
  13. the side, or part of a side, upon which the use of a thing depends: the clock's face; the face of a playing card.
  14. the most important or most frequently seen side; front: the face of a building.
  15. the outer or upper side of a fabric; right side.
  16. the acting, striking, or working surface of an implement, tool, etc.
  17. any of the bounding surfaces of a solid figure: a cube has six faces.
  18. Also calledthe front or end of a drift or excavation, where the material is being or was last mined.
  19. Caslon is one of the most popular faces.
    1. the working surface of a type, of a plate, etc. See diag. undertype.
    2. Also calledtypeface.any design of type, including a full range of characters, as letters, numbers, and marks of punctuation, in all sizes:Caslon is one of the most popular faces.See table undertypeface.
    3. Also calledtypeface.the general style or appearance of type:broad or narrow face.
  20. the rear or after side of a propeller blade (opposed to back).
  21. either of the two outer sides that form the salient angle of a bastion or the like. See diag. under
  22. any of the plane surfaces of a crystal.
  23. faceplate (def. 3).
  24. sight; presence: to flee from the face of the enemy.
  25. We sat face to face at the table.
    1. facing or opposite one another:We sat face to face at the table.
    2. in an open, personal meeting or confrontation:The leaders spoke face to face about a reduction in nuclear arms.
  26. in close proximity to; narrowly escaping; confronting: face to face with death.
  27. See (def. 21).
  28. (usually used imperatively)
    1. Southern U.S.go away!; leave.
    2. Slang.to stop bothering or annoying someone.
  29. She persevered in the face of many obstacles.
    1. in spite of; notwithstanding:She persevered in the face of many obstacles.
    2. when confronted with:They were steadfast in the face of disaster.
  30. to suffer disgrace, humiliation, or embarrassment: It was impossible to apologize publicly without losing face.
  31. to grimace, as in distaste or contempt; contort one's face in order to convey a feeling or to amuse another: She made a face when she was told the work wasn't finished. The children made me laugh by making faces.
  32. to outward appearances; superficially; seemingly: On the face of it, there was no hope for a comeback.
  33. to give the appearance of confidence or assurance: Everyone knew that he had been fired, even though he put on a bold face.
  34. to avoid disgrace, humiliation, or embarrassment: She tried to save face by saying that the bill had never arrived.
  35. to disapprove strongly of; oppose: My parents have set their face against my becoming an actress.
  36. to make an appearance; be seen: I would be ashamed to show my face in such an outlandish outfit. Just show your face at the party and then you can leave.
  37. in one's presence; brazenly; directly: Tell him to his face that he's a liar!
  1. to look toward or in the direction of: to face the light.
  2. to have the front toward or permit a view of: The building faces Fifth Avenue. The bedroom faces the park.
  3. to confront directly: to be faced with a problem; to face the future confidently.
  4. to confront courageously, boldly, or impudently (usually fol. by down or out): He could always face down his detractors.
  5. to oppose or to meet defiantly: to face fearful odds; Army faces Navy in today's football game.
  6. to cover or partly cover with a different material in front: They faced the old wooden house with brick.
  7. to finish the edge of a garment with facing.
  8. to turn the face of (a playing card) upwards.
  9. to dress or smooth the surface of (a stone or the like).
  10. to cause (soldiers) to turn to the right, left, or in the opposite direction.
  11. (of a referee) to put (the puck) in play by dropping it between two opposing players each having his or her stick on the ice and facing the goal of the opponent.
  1. to turn or be turned (often fol. by to or toward): She faced toward the sea.
  2. to be placed with the front in a certain direction (often fol. by on, to, or toward): The house faces on the street. The barn faces south.
  3. to turn to the right, left, or in the opposite direction: Left face!
  4. to face the puck (often fol. by off).
  5. to confront boldly or intimidate (an opponent, critic, etc.).
  6. to start a game or period with a face-off.
  7. See(def. 9).
  8. to face up to the facts.
    1. to acknowledge; admit:to face up to the facts.
    2. to meet courageously; confront:He refused to face up to his problems.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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