face

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfās How to pronounce face (audio) \

Definition of face

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the front part of the head that in humans extends from the forehead to the chin and includes the mouth, nose, cheeks, and eyes
b : the face as a means of identification : countenance would know that face anywhere
2 archaic : presence, sight
3a : facial expression a friendly face
b : a facial expression of distaste or displeasure he made a face when he saw the test results
4a(1) : outward appearance put a good face on it
(2) : the aspect of something that is perceptible or obvious upon superficial examination the theory is absurd on its face— Kim Neely
c(1) : assurance, confidence maintaining a firm face in spite of adversity
(2) : effrontery how anyone could have the face to ask that question
d : dignity, prestige afraid to lose face
5 : surface:
a(1) : a front, upper, or outer surface vanished from the face of the earth
(2) : the front of something having two or four sides the face of a clock
(3) : facade the face of a building
(4) : an exposed surface of rock
(5) : any of the plane surfaces that bound a geometric solid A cube is a solid with six square faces.
b : a surface specially prepared: such as
(1) : the principal dressed surface (as of a disk)
(2) : the right side (as of cloth or leather)
(3) : an inscribed, printed, or marked side the two faces of a coin
c : a striking surface (as of a tool) the face of the golf club the face of an anvil
d(1) : the surface (as of type) that receives the ink and transfers it to the paper
(2) : a style of type
6 : the end or wall of a mine tunnel, drift, or excavation at which work is progressing
8a : person lots of new faces around here
b professional wrestling : baby face sense 2 Randy Orton earned respect as a heel because of his cocky, overconfident persona. As a face, he's lost the smugness that defined his character and is struggling to find his identity.— Rennie Detore
in one's face
: directly and aggressively in one's presence dunked the ball in his face often used with get to describe aggressively confrontational speech or behavior his boss got in his face about being late
in the face of or less commonly in face of
: face-to-face with : despite fearless in the face of danger
to one's face
: in one's presence or so that one is fully aware of what is going on If you have something to say about me, say it to my face.

face

verb
faced; facing

Definition of face (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to confront impudently faced him with evidence of treachery
2a : to line near the edge especially with a different material
b : to cover the front or surface of faced the building with marble
3 : to meet face-to-face or in competition The team will face a tough opponent in its next game.
4a : to stand or sit with the face toward The teacher faced the class.
b : to have the front oriented toward a house facing the park
5a : to recognize and deal with straightforwardly face the facts
b : to master by confronting with determination used with down faced down his critics
6a : to have as a prospect : be confronted by face a grim future
b : to be a prospect or a source of concern for the problems that face us
c : to bring face-to-face he was faced with ruin
7 : to make the surface of (something, such as a stone) flat or smooth
8 : to cause (troops) to face in a particular direction on command The captain faced his company to the left.

intransitive verb

1 : to have the face or front turned in a specified direction The house faced south.
2 : to turn the face in a specified direction She faced to her left.
face the music
: to meet an unpleasant situation, a danger, or the consequences of one's actions

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Synonyms for face

Synonyms: Noun

countenance, kisser [slang], mug, pan [slang], puss [slang], visage

Synonyms: Verb

front, look (toward), point (toward)

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Examples of face in a Sentence

Noun

He has a round face. His face is familiar but I can't remember his name. I'll never forget the look on her face. He fell flat on his face. I didn't recognize any of the faces around the table. There are lots of new faces around the office.

Verb

The teacher faced the class. She turned around to face the window. He sat facing the wall. Turn and face to the east. The house faces the park. The living room faces the afternoon sun. My shoe was lying in the corner with its sole facing upward. The flower opens facing skyward. Look at the illustration on the facing page. Only by facing your problems can you hope to overcome them.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even so, business owners are moving forward: One Pocatello wedding and event store owner became the public face of CBD sales when police investigated her last Fall for selling CBD oil with .0175% THC. Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 Seeing the smiles on their face and hearing the laughter coming from their room is pure joy. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Nonprofit Helps Designers Change People's Lives," 3 Apr. 2019 Céline Dion's eight-year standing residency in Las Vegas might be coming to an end this June, but her heart voice will go on with a new gig: L'Oréal Paris just announced the 51-year-old will be the new face of the brand. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Céline Dion Is the New Face of L’Oréal Paris," 2 Apr. 2019 The answer, increasingly, comes from a professor at Stony Brook University on Long Island, Stephanie Kelton, who has become the public face of an unorthodox strain of economics called modern monetary theory. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Can the U.S. Afford Democrats’ Bold Promises? Why One Economist Says Yes," 31 Mar. 2019 The vice president has become the face of the Trump Administration's mission to put U.S. boots back on the moon, and beyond. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Not Going Back to the Moon: A Brief Timeline," 27 Mar. 2019 This is the face of a very tired but very proud woman who just completed her third season of television show. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "We Have to Wait HOW Long for More 'Workin' Moms' on Netflix?," 7 Mar. 2019 The siphon should appear behind this little fella’s head, not on his face. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Monterey Bay Aquarium takes Apple to task for its backward squid emoji," 5 Dec. 2018 At first, the piece looks boxy enough to resemble a flask, not a face. Vogue, "Lil Uzi Vert Proves (Yet Again) That He’s the Ultimate Marilyn Manson Fan," 29 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If those conditions persist, whoever steps into the creative director role next will face challenges. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Paul Surridge Is Out at Roberto Cavalli. What’s Next for the Italian Brand?," 25 Mar. 2019 Now, these sires will face-off in a head-to-gorgeous-head competition. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "Welcome to March Dadness," 22 Mar. 2019 This go-round, the crew of the USS Discovery will be facing its greatest threat yet: a being or entity intent on wiping out all sentient beings in the Universe. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Spock smiles in the face of danger in new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery S2," 13 Dec. 2018 Stephanie Keith / Getty On Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai will face a roomful of members of Congress demanding answers. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Everything you need to know about Google’s controversial China plans in advance of today’s congressional hearing," 11 Dec. 2018 Because of this, Westeros faces the constant threat of a coup, whether plotted by the problematic but fine as hell Dothraki Khal Drogo in the east or right within the walls of King's Landing by a overzealous religious cult. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "HBO Scattered "Iron Thrones" All Over the World for You to Find," 20 Mar. 2019 The Voice family faced a devastating loss this year. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Miley Cyrus Breaks Down While Honoring 'The Voice' Alum Janice Freeman at Her Memorial," 19 Mar. 2019 Lori reportedly faces a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Taysha Murtaugh, Woman's Day, "Lori Loughlin Allegedly Paid $500,000 in Bribes to Get Her Daughters Into College — Here's What We Know About the Girls," 15 Mar. 2019 Gold-medal gymnast Aly Raisman and many of her 2016 Olympic teammates faced fierce body shaming because of their muscles, something that led Aly to stop wearing tank tops for a while. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "U.S. Soccer's Mallory Pugh on Age, Confidence, and Staying in the Game," 15 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'face.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of face

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for face

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Vulgar Latin *facia (attested in early Medieval Latin as facia "portrait"), re-formation of Latin faciēs "appearance, aspect, form, human face," from fac-, stem of facere "to make, do" + -iēs, noun suffix, usually deverbal — more at fact

Verb

Middle English facen, verbal derivative of face face entry 1

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Learn More about face

Dictionary Entries near face

fac

FAC

facade

face

faceable

face-about

face and fill

Statistics for face

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for face

The first known use of face was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for face

face

noun

English Language Learners Definition of face

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the front part of the head that has the eyes, nose, and mouth on it
: a facial expression
: the way something appears when it is first seen or thought about

face

verb

English Language Learners Definition of face (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stand or sit with your face and body turned toward (something or someone)
: to have the front part toward (something)
: to be on the page that is opposite to (another page)

face

noun
\ ˈfās How to pronounce face (audio) \

Kids Definition of face

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the front part of the head
2 : an expression of the face a sad face
3 : outward appearance It looks easy on the face of it.
4 : a funny or silly expression
5 : an expression showing displeasure
6 : respect entry 1 sense 1 He was afraid of losing face.
7 : a front, upper, or outer surface
8 : one of the flat surfaces that bound a solid a face of a cube

face

verb
faced; facing

Kids Definition of face (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to have the front or face toward The house faces east.
2 : to cover the front or surface of The building will be faced with marble.
3 : to oppose with determination face danger

face

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfās How to pronounce face (audio) \

Medical Definition of face

1a : the front part of the human head including the chin, mouth, nose, cheeks, eyes, and usually the forehead
b : the corresponding part of the head of a lower animal
2 : surface especially : a front, upper, or outer surface

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face

noun

Legal Definition of face

1a : outward appearance
b : the surface or superficial reading or meaning of something (as a document or statute) that does not take into account outside information the face of [the] deed reveals that she had two purposes in mindState v. Rand, 366 A.2d 183 (1976) often used in the phrases on its face and on the face of is…neutral on its face but has a discriminatory effect on women— Marcia Coyle did not see on the face of the amendment that it was precisely directed at public as distinguished from private destructionO'Brien v. United States, 376 F.2d 538 (1967)
2 : the inscribed or printed side of something (as a document) broadly : the front side of something inscribed or printed on both sides the face of a stock certificate

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More from Merriam-Webster on face

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with face

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for face

Spanish Central: Translation of face

Nglish: Translation of face for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of face for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about face

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