face

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfās \

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

Talakoub likes Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil, $6, which is gentle cleansing oil for the face. Talia Abbas, SELF, "11 Tips for How to Treat Eczema During the Winter," 7 Jan. 2019 Though Gabaldon wrote Claire as a character whose face betrays her every emotion, Balfe always played the part at a slight remove, with an aloof dignity betrayed only when Claire decides to speak her mind. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Caitriona Balfe Is Evolving with Outlander," 31 Dec. 2018 The first 2020 polls of the season have some familiar faces out in front as early favorites. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "2020 Democratic hopefuls are under pressure to build diverse teams," 29 Dec. 2018 As members of the royal family made their annual Christmas walk up to St. Mary Magdalene's church in Sandringham, a few familiar faces appeared to be missing. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Why Prince Philip Wasn't at Christmas Church Services with Queen Elizabeth this Morning," 25 Dec. 2018 There was a lot of bling and a lot of hair extensions (more on that in a minute) but what was decidedly missing from makeup tables and the models' faces was highlighter. Sophia Panych, Allure, "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2018: Why Charlotte Tilbury Didn't Use Highlighter on the Angels," 8 Nov. 2018 Which were the year’s most exciting new faces, and who’s poised to make a splash next year? Vogue, "On the Vogue Podcast, Editors Look Back at 2018’s Biggest Fashion Moments," 20 Dec. 2018 Both watches feature a similar design with a square watch face (which perhaps can be attributed to Apple setting the standard for wearable tech design). James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Buyer's Guide: How To Decide Between an Apple Watch and a Fitbit," 20 Dec. 2018 Great for our faces, bad for that piece of plastic in our wallets. Glamour, "Ulta's Holiday Beauty Blitz Sale Is Offering Different Deals Each Day," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The windows face the lake, so privacy was not a concern—which meant the designers could go with sheer Roman shades and curtains. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Summer Thornton's Transformation Of This Chicago Apartment Will Make Your Jaw Drop," 9 Jan. 2019 Analysts estimate that the utility could face tens of billions of dollars in liability costs if its equipment is found to have contributed to the Camp Fire. Katherine Blunt, WSJ, "Top PG&E Power Executive to Leave Amid California Wildfire Crisis," 8 Jan. 2019 And at this point, VR and AR are two of the last major technologies that haven’t faced a huge scandal involving genocide, mass surveillance, election tampering, or the wholesale dissolution of truth. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: AR and VR," 30 Dec. 2018 Now and again, everyone faces a big life transition. Dawn Nadeau, Good Housekeeping, "How I Totally Changed My Life to Finally Get Organized," 28 Dec. 2018 This year offered more demonstrable evidence that all animals—big, small, with wings, or with thumbs—will face the drastic effects of climate change. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Global Warming Could Make These Sea Turtles 98% Female," 27 Dec. 2018 It’s being made for future fans who discover the show on streaming — and thus won’t face the same problem of a seven-month gap between the season two finale and the wrap-up movie. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Why more TV shows should do year-end Christmas specials," 23 Dec. 2018 Young people — even young people who have made a mistake — deserve the chance to participate in our society and not face a lifetime of limited educational and employment opportunities. Peter Rezk, Teen Vogue, "America’s Criminal Justice System Is Failing Young People Like Me. Clean Slate Laws Are the Answer," 14 Dec. 2018 For more than a week, Facebook’s critics have wondered if the company will face any consequences for the dirty tricks and deceptions detailed in a Nov. 14 New York Times story. Eric Johnson, Recode, "It’s time for Facebook’s board to step up," 23 Nov. 2018

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

11 Jan 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 \

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 \

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

Comments on face

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