[ feys ]
See synonyms for: facefacedfacesfacing on Thesaurus.com

  1. the front part of the head, from the forehead to the chin.

  2. a look or expression on the front part of the head: She wore a sad face.

  1. a contorted expression or look that indicates ridicule, disgust, etc.; grimace: Go to bed right now, and don't you give me that face.

  2. cosmetics; makeup: Excuse me while I go to the powder room to put on my face.

  3. impudence; boldness: It shocks me that you'd have the face to ask such a rude question.

  4. outward appearance: These are just old problems with new faces.

  5. someone who represents or speaks on behalf of a company or product; spokesperson: Steve Jobs was the face of Apple computers.

  6. outward show or pretense, especially 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.

  7. good reputation; standing; prestige: They hushed up the family scandal to preserve face.

  8. the amount specified in a bill or note, exclusive of interest.

  9. the manifest sense or express terms, as of a document.

  10. the geographic characteristics or general appearance of a land surface.

  11. the surface: the face of the earth.

  12. 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.

  13. the most important or most frequently seen side; front: the face of a building.

  14. the outer or upper side of a fabric; right side.

  15. the acting, striking, or working surface of an implement, tool, etc.

  16. Geometry. any of the bounding surfaces of a solid figure: A cube has six faces.

  17. Also called ba·by·face [bey-bee-feys] /ˈbeɪ bi ˌfeɪs/ .Professional Wrestling. a headlining wrestler who plays a heroic character and typically wins matches against the wrestler playing a villainous role.: Compare heel3 (def. 2).

  18. Also called work·ing face [wur-king feys] /ˈwɜr kɪŋ ˌfeɪs/ .Mining. the front or end of a drift or excavation, where the material is being or was last mined.

  19. Printing.

    • the working surface of a type, of a plate, etc.

    • Also called type·face [tahyp-feys], /ˈtaɪpˌfeɪs/, type·style [tahyp-stahyl] /ˈtaɪpˌstaɪl/ . any design of type, including a full range of characters, as letters, numbers, and marks of punctuation, in all sizes: Garamond is one of the most popular faces.

    • Also called type·face, type·style . the general style or appearance of type: broad or narrow face.

  20. Nautical, Aeronautics. the rear or after side of a propeller blade (opposed to back1 def. 12).

  21. Fortification. either of the two outer sides that form the salient angle of a bastion or the like.

  22. Crystallography. any of the plane surfaces of a crystal.

  23. Electronics. faceplate (def. 3).

  24. Archaic. sight; presence: to flee from the face of the enemy.

verb (used with object),faced, fac·ing.
  1. to look toward or in the direction of: When speaking, remember 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.

  1. to confront directly: to be faced with a problem;to face the future confidently.

  2. to confront courageously, boldly, or impudently (usually followed by down or out): He could always face down his detractors.

  3. to oppose or to meet defiantly: We face fearful odds in this battle.Army faces Navy in today's football game.

  4. to cover or partly cover with a different material in front: They faced the old wooden house with brick.

  5. to finish the edge of a garment with facing, a piece of fabric added for ornament or strengthening.

  6. to turn the front of (a playing card) upward.

  7. to dress or smooth the surface of (a stone or the like).

  8. to cause (soldiers) to turn to the right, left, or in the opposite direction.

  9. Ice Hockey. (of a referee) to put (the puck) in play by dropping it between two opposing players each having a stick on the ice and facing the goal of the opponent.

verb (used without object),faced, fac·ing.
  1. to turn or be turned (often followed by to or toward): She faced toward the sea.

  2. to be placed with the front in a certain direction (often followed by on, to, or toward): The house faces on the street.The barn faces south.

  1. to turn to the right, left, or in the opposite direction: Left face!

  2. Ice Hockey. to face the puck; put the puck in play (often followed by off).

Verb Phrases
  1. face down, to confront boldly or intimidate (an opponent, critic, etc.).

  2. face off,

    • to confront, fight, or compete against each other as opponents: The presidential nominees will face off at the debates tomorrow night.

    • Ice Hockey. to start a game or period by dropping the puck into play between two opposing players.

  1. face up to,

    • to acknowledge; admit: to face up to the facts.

    • to meet courageously; confront: He refused to face up to his problems.

Idioms about face

  1. face the music. music (def. 9).

  2. face to face,

    • facing or opposite one another: We sat face to face at the table.

    • in an open, personal meeting or confrontation: The leaders spoke face to face about a reduction in nuclear arms.

  1. face to face with, in close proximity to; narrowly escaping; confronting: face to face with death.

  2. fly in the face of. fly2 (def. 35).

  3. get out of someone's face,Informal. to go away and stop annoying or badgering someone (usually used imperatively); leave someone in peace: Get out of my face, I'm busy here!I know I have to pay up, I just wish they'd get out of my face about it.

  4. in someone’s face,

    • in a confrontational way that shows annoyance or contempt: When I asked for money, he just laughed in my face.

    • Informal. confrontational toward someone, as by criticizing or annoying persistently: My dad got in my face about my bad grades.

  5. in the face of,

    • in spite of; notwithstanding: She persevered in the face of many obstacles.

    • when confronted with: They were steadfast in the face of disaster.

  6. in your face, Informal. See entry at in your face.

  7. lose face, to suffer disgrace, humiliation, or embarrassment: It was impossible to apologize publicly without losing face.

  8. make a face, 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.

  9. on the face of it, to outward appearances; superficially; seemingly: On the face of it, there was no hope for a comeback.

  10. put on a bold face, to give the appearance of confidence or assurance: Everyone knew that he had been fired, even though he put on a bold face.: Also put a bold face on .

  11. save face, to avoid disgrace, humiliation, or embarrassment: She tried to save face by saying that the bill had never arrived.

  12. set one's face against, to disapprove strongly of; oppose: My dad has set his face against my becoming an actress.

  13. show one's face, 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.

  14. to one's face, in one's presence; brazenly; directly: Tell him to his face that he's a liar!

Origin of face

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun face, fas, from Anglo-French, Old French, from unattested Vulgar Latin facia, for Latin faciēs “appearance” (see facies); verb derivative of the noun

synonym study For face

1. Face, countenance, visage refer to the front of the (usually human) head. The face is the combination of the features: a face with broad cheekbones. Countenance, a more formal word, denotes the face as it is affected by or reveals the state of mind, and hence often signifies the look or expression on the face: a thoughtful countenance. Visage, still more formal, refers to the face as seen in a certain aspect, especially as revealing seriousness or severity: a stern visage.

Other words for face

Other words from face

  • face·a·ble, adjective
  • sub·face, noun
  • un·der·face, noun
  • un·der·face, verb (used with object), un·der·faced, un·der·fac·ing.
  • un·face·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby face

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use face in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for face (1 of 2)


/ (feɪs) /

    • the front of the head from the forehead to the lower jaw; visage

    • (as modifier): face flannel; face cream

    • the expression of the countenance; look: a sad face

    • a distorted expression, esp to indicate disgust; grimace: she made a face

  1. informal make-up (esp in the phrase put one's face on)

  2. outward appearance: the face of the countryside is changing

  3. appearance or pretence (esp in the phrases put a bold, good, bad, etc, face on)

  4. worth in the eyes of others; dignity (esp in the phrases lose or save face)

  5. informal impudence or effrontery

  6. the main side of an object, building, etc, or the front: the face of a palace; a cliff face

  7. the marked surface of an instrument, esp the dial of a timepiece

  8. the functional or working side of an object, as of a tool or playing card

    • the exposed area of a mine from which coal, ore, etc, may be mined

    • (as modifier): face worker

  9. the uppermost part or surface: the face of the earth

  10. Also called: side any one of the plane surfaces of a crystal or other solid figure

  11. mountaineering a steep side of a mountain, bounded by ridges

  12. either of the surfaces of a coin, esp the one that bears the head of a ruler

  13. British slang a well-known or important person

  14. Also called: typeface printing

    • the printing surface of any type character

    • the style, the design, or sometimes the size of any type fount

    • the print made from type

  15. nautical aeronautics the aft or near side of a propeller blade

  16. fly in the face of to act in defiance of

  17. in one's face directly opposite or against one

  18. in face of or in the face of despite

  19. look someone in the face to look directly at a person without fear or shame

  20. on the face of it to all appearances

  21. set one's face against to oppose with determination

  22. show one's face to make an appearance

  23. shut one's face slang (often imperative) to be silent

  24. to someone's face in someone's presence; directly and openly: I told him the truth to his face

  25. until one is blue in the face informal to the utmost degree; indefinitely

  1. (when intr, often foll by to, towards, or on) to look or be situated or placed (in a specified direction): the house faces on the square

  2. to be opposite: facing page 9

  1. (tr) to meet or be confronted by: in his work he faces many problems

  2. (tr) to accept or deal with something: let's face it, you're finished

  3. (tr) to provide with a surface of a different material: the cuffs were faced with velvet

  4. to dress the surface of (stone or other material)

  5. (tr) to expose (a card) with the face uppermost

  6. military, mainly US to order (a formation) to turn in a certain direction or (of a formation) to turn as required: right face!

  7. ice hockey

    • (of the referee) to drop (the puck) between two opposing players, as when starting or restarting play: See also face-off

    • to start or restart play in this manner

  8. face the music informal to confront the consequences of one's actions

Origin of face

C13: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin facia (unattested), from Latin faciēs form, related to facere to make
  • See also face down, face out, face up to

Derived forms of face

  • faceable, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for FACE (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. Fellow of the Australian College of Education

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

Scientific definitions for face


[ fās ]

  1. A plane surface of a geometric solid. A cube has 6 faces; a dodecahedron, 12.

  2. Any of the surfaces of a rock or crystal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with face


In addition to the idioms beginning with face

  • face down
  • face it
  • face the music
  • face to face
  • face up
  • face up to
  • face value
  • face with

also see:

  • at face value
  • blue in the face
  • brave face
  • do an about-face
  • egg on one's face
  • feed one's face
  • fly in the face of
  • hide one's face
  • in someone's face
  • in the face of
  • in your face
  • keep a straight face
  • laugh out of the other side of one's mouth (face)
  • long face
  • look someone in the face
  • lose face
  • make a face
  • on the face of it
  • plain as day (the nose on your face)
  • poker face
  • put one's face on
  • red in the face
  • save face
  • set one's face against
  • show one's face
  • slap in the face
  • stare in the face
  • stuff one's face
  • talk one's arm off (until blue in the face)
  • throw in someone's face
  • to someone's face

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.