face value


Definition of face value

1 : the value indicated on the face (as of a postage stamp or a stock certificate)
2 : the apparent value or significance if their remarks may be taken at face value

Examples of face value in a Sentence

We paid $100 for tickets that had a face value of $50.

Recent Examples on the Web

Still, okay, say the analysis is taken at face value. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 2018 According to Buzzfeed, most doctors appeared to have taken Dee Dee's assertions about her daughter's illnesses at face value. Rose Minutaglio, Good Housekeeping, "Gypsy Rose Blanchard: A Look Back at Her Surreal Childhood and the Mother She Murdered," 6 Nov. 2018 Joe Raedle / Getty Images Facial recognition technology caught an impostor trying to illegally enter the U.S. on a fake passport that may have passed at face value with humans. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: New facial recognition tech nabbed its first imposter trying to enter the U.S.," 24 Aug. 2018 While there is no market for trading Uridashi, brokers can buy them back at face value in the local currency for a fee, and sell them back to the underwriter or to another investor. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "Turkey’s Meltdown Hits Japanese Mom-and-Pop Investors," 22 Aug. 2018 The bond rating agency Moody's downgraded Tesla's debt back in March, causing Tesla's outstanding bonds to trade well below face value. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s cash crunch, explained," 26 July 2018 But even taking Morales’ words at face value, these fighters have been deported and could not be traveling as part of the caravan. Linda Qiu, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s Evidence-Free Claims About the Migrant Caravan," 23 Oct. 2018 The findings seem, at face value, very worrisome: of the 61 products tested, 31 had levels of glyphosate above the EWG’s acceptable threshold. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "Should You Worry About Herbicides In Your Food?," 10 Oct. 2018 Taken at face value, Twitter’s efforts means more than 20 percent of the platform’s 336 million strong active users could have been purged from the site. Alyssa Newcomb /, NBC News, "Twitter is purging millions of fake accounts — and investors are spooked," 9 July 2018

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

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for face value

The first known use of face value was in 1851

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More Definitions for face value

face value


Financial Definition of face value

What It Is

Face value, also referred to as par value or nominal value, is the value shown on the face of a security certificate, including currency. The concept most commonly applies to stocks and bonds, so it is particularly important to bond and preferred stock investors.

How It Works

Face value is an often arbitrarily assigned amount used to calculate the accounting value of a company's stock for balance sheet purposes.

When it comes to bonds and preferred stock, however, face value represents the amount that must be repaid at maturity. Corporate bonds usually carry a $1,000 face value, municipal bonds usually carry a $5,000 face value, and government bonds usually carry a $10,000 face value, though these amounts can vary widely.

Let's assume Company XYZ decides to issue $1,000,000 in bonds to raise capital to help fund the construction of a new factory. If each bond had a face value of $1,000, the company would have to issue 1,000 bonds to meet its $1,000,000 goal.

This bond issue would also pay interest in an amount per bond that is impacted by the amount of the face value. For example, if the bonds paid 5%, it means they will pay interest amounting to 5% of the bond's face value each year. That would mean interest payments totaling $50 annually for a bond with a $1,000 face value.

Why It Matters

Face value is a crucial component of many bond and preferred stock calculations -- including interest payments, market values, discounts, premiums, and yields.

As shown in the example above, the interest on a bond is usually calculated as a percentage of face value. Additionally, bondholders often receive a percentage over the bond's face value as a redemption premium if the borrower decides to repay the debt before it is due (known as a callable bond, this is often done on a sliding scale based on when the bonds are redeemed).

It is important to note that when it comes to stocks, face value (or par value) generally has no relation to market price. Bond prices, however, are heavily influenced by their face value. Bonds are usually quoted as a percentage of face value. However, their prices can climb above (premium) or fall below (discount) their face value based on changes in interest rates and the financial health of the underlying issuer.

Source: Investing Answers

face value


English Language Learners Definition of face value

: the value that is printed or shown on something (such as a coin or bill)

face value


Legal Definition of face value

: the value indicated on the face of something (as a stock certificate)

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More from Merriam-Webster on face value

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with face value

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for face value

Spanish Central: Translation of face value

Nglish: Translation of face value for Spanish Speakers

Comments on face value

What made you want to look up face value? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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