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

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 Sara Bengiovanni offered in her speech a meditation on language, how humans use words that are at face value uniform and impersonal to piece together sentences, conversations and speeches entirely our own. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Berlin Bids Graduates Goodbye; Superintendent Urges Them To Cherish Life's Moments," 24 June 2018 That protects season ticket holders from losing value if prices fall, teams argue, because those ticket holders will never see prices for their seats fall below face value on the secondary market. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "Astros ticket buyers notice dynamic prices after World Series win," 24 May 2018 There's a tiny voice in my head that says charging you money to buy tickets over face value might be against the law. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "I'll buy you 10 Jazz Fest tickets for a $50 fee (additional charges may apply)," 28 Mar. 2018 Ahead of the tour, which began in Manchester on May 25, promoters advised anyone who had bought tickets through a secondary site to seek a refund and buy a new ticket at its face value. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "'Don't Choose Viagogo' -- Boycott Urged as U.K. Watchdog Finds Ticketing Site Missed Deadline to Remove 'Misleading' Pricing," 30 May 2018 Bonds issued by David's trade for half their face value, with Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings cutting the company's credit rating deeper into junk earlier this year on concern that it's headed for a distressed-debt exchange. chicagotribune.com, "David's Bridal hires Evercore for debt advice as weddings wane," 18 May 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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Statistics for face value

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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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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