Origin of face-to-face
Words nearby face-to-face
What does face-to-face mean?
Face-to-face describes an interaction that takes place in person, as opposed to over the phone or online, as in Instead of emailing back and forth, let’s meet face-to-face in my office this afternoon. It is also commonly spelled without hyphens, as face to face.
Sometimes the phrase is used as a noun referring to such a meeting, as in Let’s schedule a face-to-face for Friday morning. (In this usage, the term is almost always hyphenated.)
Sometimes face-to-face indicates direct competition or confrontation, as in This is the first time these two players will have had a face-to-face match-up. In this sense, the term is very similar to head-to-head, which is probably more commonly used for such situations, especially in the context of sports. This sense of the word can also be used metaphorically to refer to a direct encounter with something, especially death or something else negative.
In its most literal sense, face-to-face describes two things or people that are positioned so that they are facing each other, often close together, as in Please sit face-to-face with your partner for the practice interview or When you place these on the shelf, make sure they’re face-to-face instead of back-to-back.
Where does face-to-face come from?
The first records of face-to-face come from the 1300s. Several other terms are constructed in the same way, such as back-to-back and side-to-side (both of which can also appear without hyphens).
When you have a video call with someone, you can see each other’s faces, but meeting someone face-to-face typically means that you’re in the same physical space with them. Meeting face-to-face is often thought to promote natural communication, allowing people to respond to each other’s tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and other body language. The phrase is especially used in phrases like face-to-face communication and face-to-face meeting. A somewhat informal synonym for a face-to-face meeting is simply a face-to-face.
When it describes the positioning of things or people, face-to-face can be used to describe almost any objects that have fronts that can face each other. During a wedding ceremony, the two people getting married often stand face-to-face. Chairs can be positioned face-to-face so that the people who sit in them can talk to each other. The opposite of this position is back-to-back.
Face-to-face competition or confrontation is the kind that involves direct interaction between the opposing sides, especially in a one-on-one match-up. When this sense of the word is used figuratively, the thing being encountered doesn’t have to have a face or even a front. Instead, it often involves an encounter with danger or death, as in We came face-to-face with death when that tornado struck.
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What are some other forms related to face-to-face?
- face to face (alternate spelling)
What are some synonyms for face-to-face?
What are some words that share a root or word element with face-to-face?
What are some words that often get used in discussing face-to-face?
How is face-to-face used in real life?
Face-to-face is a very common phrase that can be used literally, figuratively, or somewhere in between. It usually involves direct interaction or the positioning of people or things so that they face each other.
Please excuse me if I never want to travel 200 miles to have a face to face meeting ever again.
— Despa Robinson (@DespaRobinson) April 23, 2020
When a Marvel nerd and a DC geek come face-to-face to argue which is better, you get one of the most heated debates of all time. This got wild 😂 pic.twitter.com/rC2qry5bTF
— LADbible (@ladbible) April 22, 2020
what is there possibly left for us to be afraid of, after we have dealt face to face with death and not embraced it? once i accept the existence of dying as a life process, who can ever have power over me again?
― Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals
— Huda Hassan (@_hudahassan) March 30, 2018
Try using face-to-face!
Is face-to-face used correctly in the following sentence?
“I can’t believe he texted you instead of breaking up with you face-to-face.”
How to use face-to-face in a sentence
In that photo, Merabet has a big smile that spreads across his whole face and lights up his eyes.
Cassandra, whose hair has already begun to fall out from her court-mandated chemotherapy, could face a similar outcome.
They know they will face either a swift backlash or deafening silence.
They are to face oppression with humble persistence and absolute conviction.
She narrowed her eyes, bit her lip as if to chew over the question, and whisked some stray blond hairs away from her face.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
It is most peculiar, and when he plays that way, the most bewitching little expression comes over his face.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
Bernard stood there face to face with Mrs. Vivian, whose eyes seemed to plead with him more than ever.Confidence|Henry James
A Yankee, whose face had been mauled in a pot-house brawl, assured General Jackson that he had received his scars in battle.
With a suffocating gasp, she fell back into the chair on which she sat, and covered her face with her hands.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
Joe looked at her with a smile, his face still solemn and serious for all its youth and the fires of new-lit hope behind his eyes.The Bondboy|George W. (George Washington) Ogden
British Dictionary definitions for face-to-face
Other Idioms and Phrases with face-to-face
In each other's presence, opposite one another; in direct communication. For example, The two chairmen sat face to face, or It's time his parents met the teacher face to face. [Mid-1300s]
Confronting each other, as in We were face to face with death during the avalanche. [Late 1800s]