[noun uh-bout-feys, uh-bout-feys; verb uh-bout-feys]


Military. a turn of 180° from the position of attention.
a complete, sudden change in position, direction, principle, attitude, etc.: They've done an about-face in their foreign policy.

verb (used without object), a·bout-faced, a·bout-fac·ing.

to execute an about face.
to turn in the opposite direction.
to switch to an opposite opinion.

Origin of about-face

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65

about face


(used as a military command to perform an about-face).

Origin of about face

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of about-face

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