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 Lofven went Christmas shopping in a mall without a face mask after explicitly appealing to Swedes to avoid such excursions. BostonGlobe.com, "UK authorizes COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford and AstraZeneca," 30 Dec. 2020 Hollins was left open for a 34-yard pass that Fitzpatrick threw while being dragged down by the face mask by Arden Key. Josh Dubow, ajc, "Dolphins stun Raiders 26-25 to move step closer to playoffs," 27 Dec. 2020 This multi-purpose neck gaiter can be used as a face mask to filter dust and particles while remaining comfortable during physical activity. Popular Science, "30 deals on games and home fitness gifts for the sports enthusiasts in your life," 17 Dec. 2020 In the scene, a girl in a face mask stands on her balcony, alone. Washington Post, "She is the Brown girl superhero the world needs right now — and in recent days, she has gained fans from Mumbai to Maryland," 9 Dec. 2020 In one of the photos — shared widely on social media — the comedian can be seen speaking into her phone with her face mask hanging down under her chin. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Ellen Degeneres is ‘past’ COVID-19 and went shopping in Montecito to prove it," 22 Dec. 2020 The Best Sephora Holiday Makeup Deals Keep everything above your face mask interesting with a dazzling shadow palette and lush lashes. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "26 Best Sephora Deals From the ‘Sephorathon’ Holiday Sale," 20 Dec. 2020 On the sideline, McCarthy did the same before walking and muttering beneath his face mask. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Cowboys need more accountability, an area in which Mike McCarthy fell short Tuesday," 9 Dec. 2020 Customize the size, color and pattern of your face mask through local company From The Moon Apparel. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "2020 gift guide: 21 face masks created by Greater Cleveland makers," 24 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for face mask

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Face mask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/face%20mask. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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