Nearby words

  1. fac.,
  2. facade,
  3. facadism,
  4. faccp,
  5. facd,
  6. face angle,
  7. face bow,
  8. face card,
  9. face cloth,
  10. face down


Origin of face

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Vulgar Latin *facia, for Latin faciēs facies; (v.) late Middle English facen, derivative of the noun

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. 2. appearance, aspect, mien. 7. exterior. 14. façade. 30. veneer.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for face

British Dictionary definitions for face



  1. the front of the head from the forehead to the lower jaw; visage
  2. (as modifier)face flannel; face cream
  1. the expression of the countenance; looka sad face
  2. a distorted expression, esp to indicate disgust; grimaceshe made a face
informal make-up (esp in the phrase put one's face on)
outward appearancethe face of the countryside is changing
appearance or pretence (esp in the phrases put a bold, good, bad, etc, face on)
worth in the eyes of others; dignity (esp in the phrases lose or save face)
informal impudence or effrontery
the main side of an object, building, etc, or the frontthe face of a palace; a cliff face
the marked surface of an instrument, esp the dial of a timepiece
the functional or working side of an object, as of a tool or playing card
  1. the exposed area of a mine from which coal, ore, etc, may be mined
  2. (as modifier)face worker
the uppermost part or surfacethe face of the earth
Also called: side any one of the plane surfaces of a crystal or other solid figure
mountaineering a steep side of a mountain, bounded by ridges
either of the surfaces of a coin, esp the one that bears the head of a ruler
British slang a well-known or important person
Also called: typeface printing
  1. the printing surface of any type character
  2. the style, the design, or sometimes the size of any type fount
  3. the print made from type
nautical aeronautics the aft or near side of a propeller blade
fly in the face of to act in defiance of
in one's face directly opposite or against one
in face of or in the face of despite
look someone in the face to look directly at a person without fear or shame
on the face of it to all appearances
set one's face against to oppose with determination
show one's face to make an appearance
shut one's face slang (often imperative) to be silent
to someone's face in someone's presence; directly and openlyI told him the truth to his face
until one is blue in the face informal to the utmost degree; indefinitely


(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
to be oppositefacing page 9
(tr) to meet or be confronted byin his work he faces many problems
(tr) to accept or deal with somethinglet's face it, you're finished
(tr) to provide with a surface of a different materialthe cuffs were faced with velvet
to dress the surface of (stone or other material)
(tr) to expose (a card) with the face uppermost
military, mainly US to order (a formation) to turn in a certain direction or (of a formation) to turn as requiredright face!
ice hockey
  1. (of the referee) to drop (the puck) between two opposing players, as when starting or restarting playSee also face-off
  2. to start or restart play in this manner
face the music informal to confront the consequences of one's actions

Derived Formsfaceable, adjective

Word Origin for face

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


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

Word Origin and History for face
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for face




The front portion of the head, from forehead to chin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for face



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.

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.