face mask

plural face masks

Definition of face mask

1 : a mask or protective covering for the face or part of the face downhill skiers wearing neoprene face masks and goggles : such as
a medical
(1) : a covering (as of polypropylene fiber or cotton fabric) for the mouth and nose that is worn especially to reduce the spread of infectious agents (such as viruses or bacteria) The Irish actor, 43, stopped by a supermarket to pick up groceries and wore a cloth face mask as protection against COVID-19.— Rachel Mcgrath A range of online retailers and in-store shops are selling face masks. … Opt for surgical masks or cloth masks with at least three layers.— Tessa Akerman Nursing homes in New Hampshire have received face masks with flimsy paper ear loops instead of elastic bands.— Andrew Jacobs
(2) : a device usually covering the mouth and nose to facilitate delivery of a gas (such as a general anesthetic) : mask sense 2b(1) … the patient was breathing 40% oxygen by face mask.— Athe M. N. Tsibris et al.
b sports : a covering typically attaching to the front of a helmet that consists of a hard, clear material (such as polycarbonate) or a cage of metal (such as steel or a titanium alloy) and is worn to protect the wearer's face from injury In my hand, I held my silver football helmet with its full cage face mask.— John Killen … jersey numbers define the player in football, where helmets and face masks make it harder to identify a player's face.— Bill Pennington Skates … elbow pads, hockey gloves, hockey stick, athletic supporter or pelvic protector, … and an HECC [Hockey Equipment Certification Council] approved hockey helmet with full face mask are required.Palm Beach (Florida) Post
2 or face mask penalty, American football : a penalty imposed on a player for grabbing and pulling an opponent's face mask during play … the Wolverines' Grant Perry was called for a face mask during a Desmond King punt return, giving Iowa the ball at Michigan's 36-yard line.The Buffalo (New York) News a 15-yard face mask penalty

Examples of face mask in a Sentence

gas delivered to the patient via face mask
Recent Examples on the Web Orange Schools students returned to campus from winter break on Wednesday (Jan. 5), with the face mask requirement still in effect indoors for students, staff and visitors in all district buildings. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, 7 Jan. 2022 The federal face mask mandate for travel is still in place, too. al, 29 Dec. 2021 The most obvious example — the face mask, in its profusion of options and styles — was far from obvious at first. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Metcalf appeared to grab the face mask of at least one Packers player. Steve Megargee, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Nov. 2021 Over the weekend, the 22-time Grammy winner was seen in the same face mask at an airport in New York. Janine Puhak, PEOPLE.com, 20 Oct. 2021 Before testing positive for the virus, Jacque authored and supported legislation to end the statewide face mask mandate before vaccines were available and to ban vaccine requirements. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 Sep. 2021 Sheet masks proved the perfect on-the-run hydration fix, but for every day, an old-fashioned from the tube face mask can’t be beat. Bridget Arsenault, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 Trying to enforce the new face mask mandate at large outdoor gatherings has already proven to be a tall order. oregonlive, 1 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'face mask.' 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 mask

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for face mask

Time Traveler

The first known use of face mask was in 1754

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Dictionary Entries Near face mask


face mask

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Statistics for face mask

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Face mask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/face%20mask. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for face mask

face mask


English Language Learners Definition of face mask

: a mask or protective covering that goes over your face or part of your face


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