View synonyms for save face

save face

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Idioms and Phrases

Avoid humiliation or embarrassment, preserve dignity, as in Rather than fire him outright, they let him save face by accepting his resignation . The phrase, which uses face in the sense of “outward appearances,” is modeled on the antonym lose face . [Late 1800s]

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Example Sentences

So let's not try to save face for public opinion because I don't need to play victim so people can take my side.

So how could he save face and broadcast to the world that he is indeed “serious?”

“Yet there comes a point when where the suicidalist must shut it down if only in order to save face,” he writes.

Panetta said McConnell was just trying to save face and that a fight over undoing the sequester cuts for the military was coming.

And certainly Rand Paul is correct when he says we “should not fight a war to save face.”

Her skipper offered me a tow, but I was anxious to save face as much as possible by returning on my own, and so declined.

But once the matter is brought to their “official attention,” they have to take action in order to “save face.”

Just as the Chinese will do anything to "save face" so the Briton will do anything not to "lose face."


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




saved by the bellsave for a rainy day