n. & v.
n. 1 the front of the head from the forehead to the chin. 2 the expression of the facial features (had a happy face). 3 composure, coolness, effrontery. 4 the surface of a thing, esp. as regarded or approached, esp.: a the visible part of a celestial body. b a side of a mountain etc. (the north face). c the (usu. vertical) surface of a coal-seam. d Geom. each surface of a solid. e the façade of a building. f the plate of a clock or watch bearing the digits, hands, etc. 5 a the functional or working side of a tool etc. b the distinctive side of a playing card. c the obverse of a coin. 6 = TYPEFACE. 7 the outward appearance or aspect (the unacceptable face of capitalism). 8 a person, esp. conveying some quality or association (a face from the past; some young faces for a change).
v. 1 tr. & intr. look or be positioned towards or in a certain direction (face towards the window; facing the window; the room faces north). 2 tr. be opposite (facing page 20). 3 tr. a (often foll. by out) meet resolutely or defiantly; confront (face one's critics). b not shrink from (face the facts). 4 tr. present itself to; confront (the problem that faces us; faces us with a problem). 5 tr. a cover the surface of a thing with a coating, extra layer, etc. b put a facing on (a garment). 6 intr. & tr. turn or cause to turn in a certain direction. face-ache 1 neuralgia. 2 sl. a mournful-looking person. face-card = court-card. face-cloth 1 a cloth for washing one's face. 2 a smooth-surfaced woollen cloth. face-cream a cosmetic cream applied to the face to improve the complexion. face down (or downwards) with the face or surface turned towards the ground, floor, etc. face facts (or the facts) recognize the truth. face-flannel = face-cloth 1. face-lift 1 (also face-lifting) cosmetic surgery to remove wrinkles etc. by tightening the skin of the face. 2 a procedure to improve the appearance of a thing. face the music colloq. put up with or stand up to unpleasant consequences, esp. criticism. face-pack a preparation beneficial to the complexion, spread over the face and removed when dry. face-powder a cosmetic powder for reducing the shine on the face. face-saving preserving one's reputation, credibility, etc. face to face (often foll. by with) facing; confronting each other. face up (or upwards) with the face or surface turned upwards to view. face up to accept bravely; confront; stand up to. face value 1 the nominal value as printed or stamped on money. 2 the superficial appearance or implication of a thing. face-worker a miner who works at the coalface. have the face be shameless enough. in one's (or the) face 1 straight against one; as one approaches. 2 confronting. in face (or the face) of 1 despite. 2 confronted by. let's face it colloq. we must be honest or realistic about it. on the face of it as it would appear. put a bold (or brave) face on it accept difficulty etc. cheerfully or with courage. put one's face on colloq. apply make-up to one's face. put a good face on make (a matter) look well. put a new face on alter the aspect of. save face preserve esteem; avoid humiliation. save a person's face enable a person to save face; forbear from humiliating a person. set one's face against oppose or resist with determination. to a person's face openly in a person's presence. faced adj. (also in comb.). facing adj. (also in comb.).
[ ME f. OF ult. f. L facies ]