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slap in the face

A sharp rebuke or rebuff, as in Being criticized in front of my staff was a real slap in the face, or We thought it quite a slap in the face when they returned our letter unopened. The figurative use of this term, which can also refer to a literal blow, dates from the late 1800s.

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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.

Related Words for slap in the face

shame, disgrace, affront, slight, blasphemy, taunt, indignity, invective, slap, disrespect, put-down, slander, abuse, snub, libel, outrage, scorn, contempt, assault, injury