face mask


plural face masks
: 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
: 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
: 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.
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
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

Example Sentences

gas delivered to the patient via face mask
Recent Examples on the Web Dallas-Fort Worth’s hometown air carriers are still breaking up fights and subduing unruly passengers nearly a year after the face mask mandate dropped, with incidents often caught on camera and posted to social media. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 11 Mar. 2023 During the visit, the princess, who wore a face mask, spent time with 109-year-old resident Nora, speaking about their birthdays and favorite foods. Stephanie Bridger-linning, Glamour, 22 Feb. 2023 Young Lee was in court Thursday wearing a black face mask. Lauren Koenig, CNN, 2 Feb. 2023 The stop was based on a 911 call about a suspicious person who was wearing a face mask and waving his arms. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Jan. 2023 Police said a security guard witnessed the lone suspect, who was dressed all in black and wore a black face mask, carry out the attack, police said. Rosemary Sobol, Chicago Tribune, 17 Dec. 2022 Wearing a face mask is also an effective way to prevent respiratory viruses. Time, 12 Dec. 2022 Wearing a face mask, she was surrounded by dozens of police officers who were gathering the personal information of other protesters for potential violations of covid measures. Leo Sands, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2022 That was in reference to the lawmaker wearing a face mask in his Twitter profile picture. Steve Mollman, Fortune, 13 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of face mask was in 1754

Dictionary Entries Near face mask

Cite this Entry

“Face mask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/face%20mask. Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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