1

face

play
noun, often attributive \ ˈfās \

Definition of face

1 a :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
3 a :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 3a(1)
4 a (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
8 :person
  • lots of new faces around here
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.

Examples of face in a Sentence

  1. He has a round face.

  2. His face is familiar but I can't remember his name.

  3. I'll never forget the look on her face.

  4. He fell flat on his face.

  5. I didn't recognize any of the faces around the table.

  6. There are lots of new faces around the office.

Recent Examples of face from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of face

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *facia, from Latin facies make, form, face, from facere to make, do — more at do

face Synonyms

Synonyms
countenance, kisser [slang], mug, pan [slang], puss [slang], visage
Antonyms
back, rear, rearward, reverse
Related Words
appearance, aspect, features, lineaments, looks, mien, presence; expression, physiognomy
Near Antonyms
innards, inside, interior

2

face

verb

Definition of face

faced; facing
transitive verb
1 :to confront impudently
  • faced him with evidence of treachery
2 a :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.
4 a :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
5 a :to recognize and deal with straightforwardly
  • face the facts
b :to master by confronting with determination used with down
  • faced down his critics
6 a :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

Examples of face in a Sentence

  1. The teacher faced the class.

  2. She turned around to face the window.

  3. He sat facing the wall.

  4. Turn and face to the east.

  5. The house faces the park.

  6. The living room faces the afternoon sun.

  7. My shoe was lying in the corner with its sole facing upward.

  8. The flower opens facing skyward.

  9. Look at the illustration on the facing page.

  10. Only by facing your problems can you hope to overcome them.

Recent Examples of face from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of face

see 1face

face Synonyms

Synonyms
front, look (toward), point (toward)
Antonyms
dodge, duck, funk, shirk, sidestep
Related Words
abut, adjoin, border, bound, fringe, margin, meet, neighbor, rim, skirt, touch; command, dominate, overlook; look down (on)
Near Antonyms
avoid, eschew, shun; elude, escape, evade, shake

FACE Defined for English Language Learners

face

play
noun

Definition of face for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of face for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

face

play
noun \ ˈfās \

Definition of face for Students

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 :1respect 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

2

face

verb

Definition of face for Students

faced; facing
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

Medical Dictionary

face

play
noun, often attributive \ ˈfās \

medical Definition of face

1 a :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

Law Dictionary

face

noun

legal Definition of face

1 a :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 mind
  • State 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 destruction
  • O'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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