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
c : makeup sense 3a(1) usually used in the phrase put one's face on … I have never been the kind of woman who feels comfortable popping to the shops without putting my face on first.— Vicki Michelle
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 finished surface (as of a tool or implement) The tendency of the belt is to slip over the face of the pulley in a counter clockwise direction.— H. W. Harkness Cans are made from … thin sheets of steel lightly coated with tin. This tin coating serves two purposes: it covers the face of the steel sheet, preserving it from rust; and it acts as a medium by which parts of a sheet may be made to adhere to one another by soldering.— B. S. Luh et al.
(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

Synonyms for face

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gomez approached the family, which included two children ages 6 and 2, and punched the father in the face with the knife in his hand, prosecutors said. Julian Mark, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2022 Two summers ago, Boykin said his brother, Tijae, was shot in the face by a rival gang member in South L.A. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2022 Will then walked onto the stage and slapped Rock in the face, leaving the audience and live viewers around the world stunned. Glenn Garner, Peoplemag, 6 Aug. 2022 The younger man pulled out a knife and the older man punched the younger man in the face. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 5 Aug. 2022 Manny smacked Abbott in the face, knocking him to the ground, and the guard almost went down with him, according to Ross and his lawyers. oregonlive, 5 Aug. 2022 Two men accused of shooting a woman in the face during a robbery while her kids were at home have been arrested. Brook Endale, The Enquirer, 5 Aug. 2022 Somehow, Lil Durk managed to power through his set after he was struck in the face by a pyrotechnic onstage. Daniel Kohn, SPIN, 1 Aug. 2022 Two of Steen's cousins were shot in the face, Steen said. Andrea May Sahouri, Detroit Free Press, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To some CEOs, any ills their companies face inevitably come down to the fact of people logging on from home. Jane Thier, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2022 In Minnesota, Trump has made just two endorsements, in House races where incumbent Republicans face no primary challengers. Joe Maronski, NBC News, 9 Aug. 2022 Those found picnicking in public along these streets face fines of up to €500 ($509). Rebecca Ann Hughes, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 Charges depend on each specific case, but mass shooters often face murder, terrorism and/or hate crime charges. Wyatte Grantham-philips, The Enquirer, 9 Aug. 2022 Gregory Rogers, 40, of Southington and John Delgado, 48, of New Britain were arrested in connection to the robbery and face a slew of larceny, robbery, and assault-related charges. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 8 Aug. 2022 However, the tour does not take them past Kate Ross Apartments, the city's 80-year-old low-income apartments that face an uncertain future with its prime location on I-35. Brianna Griff, Chron, 8 Aug. 2022 Physicians and other medical professionals could lose their licenses and face administrative fines of $10,000 for each violation. Curt Anderson, Orlando Sentinel, 8 Aug. 2022 Sonic 3 will face competition from James Cameron’s Avatar 3, which is presently set to open over the year-end holidays in 2024 (the Avatar sequels have moved around numerous times). Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About face

Time Traveler for face

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near face

facade

face

faceable

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Statistics for face

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Face.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/face. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for face

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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