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Idioms about face

Origin of face

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a basic definition of face?

Face refers to the front of the head, from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin. Face also refers to an expression that someone makes using their face. Face is also used as a verb to mean to confront something directly. Face has a large number of other senses as a noun and a verb.

Your face consists of your forehead, eyebrows, eyes, eyelashes, nose, cheeks, mouth, lips, chin, and any facial hair, freckles, or other marks on the front of your head. Your ears may or may not be considered part of your face.

The word face usually refers to a human head, but it’s also used to describe the front of the head of animals that have features similar to a human face, such as cats and apes.

  • Real-life examples: You have a face. Halloween masks often resemble ugly or scary faces. Clowns like to throw pies at people’s faces.
  • Used in a sentence: The actor could see many familiar faces in the audience. 

The word face also refers to an expression or appearance that a person creates using their face.

  • Real-life examples: Parents make funny faces to make their children laugh. A smiling person has a happy face. Horror movies cause many people to make a scared face.
  • Used in a sentence: Gretchen puts on a happy face even when she feels sad. 

As a verb, face is used to mean to confront someone or something directly. If you face your fears, you are trying to deal with them instead of ignoring them. Sometimes, face is used in a similar sense to specifically mean you are confronting an enemy. Criminals, for example, are often forced to face justice even though they really don’t want to.

  • Real-life examples: People are often faced with problems and obstacles they must solve. Experts often tell people to face the facts and not ignore or deny them.
  • Used in a sentence: Roger had to face the harsh reality that his girlfriend had left him. 

Where does face come from?

The first records of face come from around 1250. The noun ultimately comes from the Latin faciēs, meaning “appearance.” The verb comes from the late Middle English verb facen, which comes from the noun.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to face?

  • faceless (adjective)
  • facer (noun)
  • faceable (adjective)
  • subface (noun)
  • underface (noun, verb)
  • unfaceable (adjective)

What are some synonyms for face?

What are some words that share a root or word element with face

What are some words that often get used in discussing face?

How is face used in real life?

Face is a very common word that most often refers to the front of a person’s head.

Try using face!

Which of the following is not part of a person’s face?

A. mouth
B. neck
C. eyes
D. chin

How to use face in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for face (1 of 2)

face
/ (feɪs) /

noun
verb
See also face down, face out, face up to

Derived forms of face

faceable, adjective

Word Origin for face

C13: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin facia (unattested), from Latin faciēs form, related to facere to make

British Dictionary definitions for face (2 of 2)

FACE

abbreviation for
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

Medical definitions for face

face
[ fās ]

n.
The front portion of the head, from forehead to chin.
Facies.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for face

face
[ fās ]

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

face

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