DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
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.”
Example sentences from the Web for face-to-face
When you were face-to-face with Mr. Davis when he was standing up, could you describe what his face looked like?From Ferguson Cop Embroiled in a Brutality Suit to City Councilwoman|Michael Daly|August 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It has made her anxious, even if much of the face-to-face attention has been positive.Will Jordan Davis Become the First Transgender Miss England?|Tim Teeman|February 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This concern has led, in some quarters, to a revival of an ancient communications technology: face-to-face conversation.Confide Is the Best Way to Keep Your Dastardly Deeds Hidden—For Now|Daniel Gross|January 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The face-to-face, the things, the bromance … … That amazing scene where you fire off your gun in the air out of frustration.Keanu Reeves on ‘Man of Tai Chi,’ ‘Bill & Ted’ & ‘Point Break’|Marlow Stern|September 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Of course, in the South, face-to-face interactions are almost always pleasant, even if people gossip behind your back.
Andrew went at once to hunt up Peter, and brought him face-to-face with his newly found Friend and Master.Quiet Talks on Following the Christ|S. D. Gordon
I was wretchedly nervous when they did come and brave a face-to-face meeting.Nights|Elizabeth Robins Pennell
After a month of it, she would have welcomed any relief, even the face-to-face conflict with Darcy.Hope Mills|Amanda M. Douglas
I am discarded; and not directly in a face-to-face interview, but through another by a message.The Captain's Toll-Gate|Frank R. Stockton
What fierce, face-to-face wrestlings with grief and remorse were hers!
British Dictionary definitions for face-to-face
adverb, adjective (face-to-face as adjective)
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]