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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Handkerchiefs or rags will not suffice as masks; and people using face shields will need to wear masks as well to enter the stadium. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "Diamondbacks boost digital fan experience, masks required at Chase Field for 2021 season," 29 Mar. 2021 An image from testimony or a telltale expression on the defendant's or a witness' face can be paired with a false or misleading quote to push someone's agenda. Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY, "'They need to be watched': How livestreaming the Derek Chauvin trial lets people of color monitor the justice system," 29 Mar. 2021 Andrew Friedman, face covered by a blue Dodgers mask, oversaw building the roster that won his franchise’s first World Series title in 32 years. Los Angeles Times, "Why’s it hard for World Series winners to repeat? That will be Dodgers’ big challenge," 29 Mar. 2021 Development organizations, including UNICEF and the United Nations Development Program, ordered over 8,000 face shields that were locally produced and delivered to area hospitals. Rebecca Richards-kortum, The Conversation, "‘Frugal design’ brings medical innovations to communities that lack resources during the pandemic," 29 Mar. 2021 Carson died in 2005, and his announcer and sidekick, Ed McMahon, died in 2009, leaving Severinsen the most prominent surviving face of that influential late-night show. New York Times, "Doc Severinsen Recalls High Notes, Low Notes and Everything in Between," 28 Mar. 2021 Sherman advised anyone cleaning up such a mess to wear rubber gloves and possibly a face shield if there’s a risk of spatters, and use a 10% bleach solution for cleaning. Tribune News Service, al, "Mysterious disease killing young California bears in Tahoe. One symptom: fearlessness," 28 Mar. 2021 Rutschman, the crown jewel and face of the franchise these days, could be the Orioles’ next superstar. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Stoetzer: The Orioles open the 2021 season April 1. What lies ahead for us fools? | COMMENTARY," 28 Mar. 2021 But in the program's first NCAA tournament Elite Eight appearance, a familiar face awaits them. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, "IU women seek first Final Four, but will need to beat a familiar face to get there," 28 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bublik will face No. 21 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy in the quarterfinals; Sinner advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland. Tim Reynolds, ajc, "Barty, Medvedev rise to challenge on tough day at Miami Open," 31 Mar. 2021 In addition, our clinicians wear appropriate P.P.E. for treatment (including N95 masks, face shields, gowns, gloves), and our office has implemented additional infection-control measures. New York Times, "A Hygenist Had Covid. Shouldn’t My Dentist Have Told Me?," 30 Mar. 2021 The most pressure Moseley will face initially likely will come on the recruiting trail, particularly with in-state prospects. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New Wisconsin women's basketball coach Marisa Moseley sees no reason the program can't start winning again," 30 Mar. 2021 Many countries have yet to vaccinate a single person, and will now face potential surges driven by more difficult variants. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "The Fourth Surge Is Upon Us. This Time, It’s Different.," 30 Mar. 2021 More than 40,000 fans were expected to watch the 0-3 White Sox face the 0-3 Detroit Tigers. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, "Home openers for the Cubs and White Sox: The coldest, the warmest — and how the Chicago Tribune covered it," 30 Mar. 2021 Prosecutors have argued those proposals constituted subversion, and arrested almost everyone involved in the primary, many of whom now face as much as a decade in prison, their political lives over. James Griffiths, CNN, "Beijing passes new 'patriot' election law for Hong Kong that restricts opposition," 30 Mar. 2021 Sandra Harris, a lobbyist for Nova Southeastern University, supported the lawsuit protections and said nine private colleges and several public institutions face class-action lawsuits. Ryan Dailey, orlandosentinel.com, "Senate panel votes to shield K-12 children from testing accountability and colleges from COVID lawsuits," 30 Mar. 2021 But the other cause is the economic insecurity that a lot of people face. Ryan Reed, Rolling Stone, "BTS Condemn Anti-Asian Racism: ‘We Feel Grief and Anger’," 30 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for face

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for face

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Face.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/face. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on face

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