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fly in the face of

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Definition of fly in the face of

Also, fly in the teeth of. Act in direct opposition to or defiance of. For example, This decision flies in the face of all precedent, or They went out without permission, flying in the teeth of house rules. This metaphoric expression alludes to a physical attack. [Mid-1500s]

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

MORE ABOUT FLY IN THE FACE OF

What does fly in the face of mean?

Fly in the face of means to directly challenge something or act in defiance of something, as in His bold behavior flies in the face of everything we expect from a vice president.

When someone or something flies in the face of something, they are not obeying it and are acting in a way that is contradictory or completely opposed to tradition, rules, or what is expected. Fly in the face of can describe behavior that is done out of ignorance, out of disregard, or out of disdain for whatever is being acted in opposition to.

Example: The unorthodox journalist doesn’t like to follow the rules and often flies in the face of her editor’s advice.

Where does fly in the face of come from?

The first records of fly in the face of come from around the mid-1500s. This phrase alludes to physically hitting a person in the face, an aggressive action. Fly in the teeth of is a variant of fly in the face of.

Fly in the face of is often used in descriptions or news stories about people or groups that behave strangely, oddly, unexpectedly, or defiantly. You would likely use this phrase when someone is clearly choosing to not follow the rules or traditions because they are unaware of them or, more likely, they don’t care about them or hate them.

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What are some other forms related to fly in the face of?

  • fly in the teeth of

What are some synonyms for fly in the face of?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fly in the face of?

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

How is fly in the face of used in real life?

Fly in the face of is often used to describe behavior that a person thinks is unorthodox, shocking, scandalous, or defiant.

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Is fly in the face of used correctly in the following sentence?

Her bold, unexpected moves flew in the face of widely accepted chess strategy and caught all of her opponents off guard.

How to use fly in the face of in a sentence

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