[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.

Nearby words

  1. about face,
  2. about ship,
  3. about time,
  4. about to,
  5. about turn,
  6. about-ship,
  7. about-turn,
  8. above,
  9. above all,
  10. above and beyond

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

Examples from the Web for about-face