: a 180° turn to the right from the position of attention
: a reversal of direction
: a reversal of attitude, behavior, or point of view
about-face intransitive verb

Examples of about-face in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Now, that is quite the about-face from a columnist and CNN host who just a month ago or so declared that there was no border crisis because the Biden administration's border plan worked. Fox News Staff, Fox News, 16 Sep. 2023 After quick criticism of that approach, the agency did an about-face and updated its news release to identify Mark McInermey as the director of UAP research. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 15 Sep. 2023 Many of the victims of the policy about-face were children in households that didn’t earn enough to be eligible for the credit before 2021, were then able to access it for a year, and are now ineligible again. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2023 What’s curious is that DeSantis’ attack on the vaccines is a complete about-face from his initial reaction. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 The decision to proceed with the inquiry without the House's approval is an about-face for the speaker, who criticized Democrats in 2019 for launching an impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump without a vote first. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 12 Sep. 2023 The museum initially dismissed Gradel’s concerns but later made an about-face. Alex Marshall, New York Times, 1 Sep. 2023 On September 3, Venus stations direct in Leo, prompting an about-face in your self-love journey, a big personal reveal, and/or a decisive turning point in your overall life trajectory. Steph Koyfman, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 Aug. 2023 The company has done a complete about-face on its mix of special orders versus buying from stock. Jamie Kitman, Car and Driver, 26 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'about-face.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from the imperative phrase about face, from about entry 1 + face entry 2

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of about-face was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near about-face

Cite this Entry

“About-face.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/about-face. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a reversal of direction
: a reversal of attitude or point of view
about-face verb

More from Merriam-Webster on about-face

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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