Meaning of FACE in English



Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Please look at category 25 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.


Your ~ is the front part of your head from your chin to the top of your forehead, where your mouth, eyes, nose, and other features are.

A strong wind was blowing right in my ~...

He was going red in the ~ and breathing with difficulty...

She had a beautiful ~.

N-COUNT: oft poss N


If your ~ is happy, sad, or serious, for example, the expression on your ~ shows that you are happy, sad, or serious.

He was walking around with a sad ~...

The priest frowned into the light, his ~ puzzled.

N-COUNT: poss N, adj N


The ~ of a cliff, mountain, or building is a vertical sur~ or side of it.

...the north ~ of the Eiger...

He scrambled 200 feet up the cliff ~.

N-COUNT: with supp, oft N of n


The ~ of a clock or watch is the sur~ with the numbers or hands on it, which shows the time.



If you say that the ~ of an area, institution, or field of activity is changing, you mean its appearance or nature is changing.

...the changing ~ of the British countryside...

N-SING: the N of n


If you refer to something as the particular ~ of an activity, belief, or system, you mean that it is one particular aspect of it, in contrast to other aspects.

Who ever thought people would see Arsenal as the acceptable ~ of football?

N-SING: the adj N of n


If you lose ~, you do something which makes you appear weak and makes people respect or admire you less. If you do something in order to save ~, you do it in order to avoid appearing weak and losing people’s respect or admiration.

To cancel the airport would mean a loss of ~ for the present governor...

She claimed they’d been in love, but I sensed she was only saying this to save ~.



see also about-~ , ~ value , poker ~


If you say that someone can do something until they are blue in the ~, you are emphasizing that however much they do it, it will not make any difference.

You can criticise him until you’re blue in the ~, but you’ll never change his personality.

PHRASE: V inflects emphasis


If someone or something is ~ down, their ~ or front points downwards. If they are ~ up, their ~ or front points upwards.

All the time Stephen was lying ~ down and unconscious in the bath tub...

Charles laid down his cards ~ up.

PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR


You can use the expression ‘on the ~ of the earth’ to mean ‘in the whole world’, when you are emphasizing a statement that you are making or making a very exaggerated statement.

No human being on the ~ of the earth could do anything worse than what he did.

PHRASE: n PHR, usu after adj-superl/brd-neg emphasis


If you come ~ to ~ with someone, you meet them and can talk to them or look at them directly.

We were strolling into the town when we came ~ to ~ with Jacques Dubois...

It was the first ~-to-~ meeting between the two men.

PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR n, oft PHR with n


If you come ~ to ~ with a difficulty or reality, you cannot avoid it and have to deal with it.

Eventually, he came ~ to ~ with discrimination again...

PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR n


If an action or belief flies in the ~ of accepted ideas or rules, it seems to completely oppose or contradict them.

...scientific principles that seem to fly in the ~ of common sense...

PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n


If you take a particular action or attitude in the ~ of a problem or difficulty, you respond to that problem or difficulty in that way.

The Prime Minister has called for national unity in the ~ of the violent anti-government protests...



If you have a long ~, you look very unhappy or serious.

He came to me with a very long ~.

PHRASE: N inflects


If you make a ~, you show a feeling such as dislike or disgust by putting an exaggerated expression on your ~, for example by sticking out your tongue. In British English, you can also say pull a ~.

Opening the door, she made a ~ at the musty smell...

Kathryn pulled a ~ at Thomas behind his back.

PHRASE: V and N inflect, oft PHR at n


You say on the ~ of it when you are describing how something seems when it is first considered, in order to suggest that people’s opinion may change when they know or think more about the subject.

It is, on the ~ of it, difficult to see how the West could radically change its position.

PHRASE: PHR with cl


If you put a brave ~ on a bad situation or put on a brave ~, you try not to show how disappointed or upset you are about the situation. In American English you can also say put on a good ~.

Friends will see you are putting on a brave ~ and might assume you’ve got over your grief...

Scientists are putting a good ~ on the troubles.

PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR n


You can say that someone has set their ~ against something to indicate that they are opposed to it, especially when you want to suggest that they are wrong. (mainly BRIT)

This Government has set its ~ against putting up income tax.

PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n/-ing


If you show your ~ somewhere, you go there and see people, although you are not welcome, are rather unwilling to go, or have not been there for some time.

I felt I ought to show my ~ at her father’s funeral.

PHRASE: V inflects, PHR adv/prep


If you manage to keep a straight ~, you manage to look serious, although you want to laugh.

What went through Tom’s mind I can’t imagine, but he did manage to keep a straight ~...

You have to wonder how anyone could say that seriously and with a straight ~.

PHRASE: PHR after v, with PHR


If you say something to someone’s ~, you say it openly in their presence.

Her opponent called her a liar to her ~.

PHRASE: PHR after v


If a feeling is written all over your ~ or is written across your ~, it is very obvious to other people from your expression.

Relief and gratitude were written all over his ~...

I could just see the pain written across her ~.

PHRASE: V inflects


to shut the door in someone’s ~: see door

to have egg on your ~: see egg

to cut off your nose to spite your ~: see nose

a slap in the ~: see slap


(~s, facing, ~d)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Please look at category 8 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.


If someone or something ~s a particular thing, person, or direction, they are positioned opposite them or are looking in that direction.

They stood facing each other...

The garden ~s south.

VERB: V n, V adv/prep


If you ~ someone or something, you turn so that you are looking at them.

She stood up from the table and ~d him...

Stand up. Face the wall.

VERB: V n, V n


If you have to ~ a person or group, you have to stand or sit in front of them and talk to them, although it may be difficult and unpleasant.

Christie looked relaxed and calm as he ~d the press...



If you ~ or are ~d with something difficult or unpleasant, or if it ~s you, it is going to affect you and you have to deal with it.

Williams ~s life in prison if convicted of attempted murder...

We are ~d with a serious problem.

VERB: V n, be V-ed with n


If you ~ the truth or ~ the facts, you accept that something is true. If you ~ someone with the truth or with the facts, you try to make them accept that something is true.

Although your heart is breaking, you must ~ the truth that a relationship has ended...

He accused the Government of refusing to ~ facts about the economy...

He called a family conference and ~d them with the problems.

VERB: V n, V n, V n with n

Face up to means the same as ~ .

I have grown up now and I have to ~ up to my responsibilities...



If you cannot ~ something, you do not feel able to do it because it seems so difficult or unpleasant.

My children want me with them for Christmas Day, but I can’t ~ it...

I couldn’t ~ seeing anyone.

VERB: with neg, V n/-ing, V n/-ing


You use the expression ‘let’s ~ it’ when you are stating a fact or making a comment about something which you think the person you are talking to may find unpleasant or be unwilling to admit.

She was always attracted to younger men. But, let’s ~ it, who is not?

PHRASE: PHR with cl


~ the music: see music

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