face

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfās How to pronounce face (audio) \

Definition of face

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the front part of the head that in humans extends from the forehead to the chin and includes the mouth, nose, cheeks, and eyes
b : the face as a means of identification : countenance would know that face anywhere
2 archaic : presence, sight
3a : facial expression a friendly face
b : a facial expression of distaste or displeasure he made a face when he saw the test results
c : makeup sense 3a(1) usually used in the phrase put one's face on … I have never been the kind of woman who feels comfortable popping to the shops without putting my face on first.— Vicki Michelle
4a(1) : outward appearance put a good face on it
(2) : the aspect of something that is perceptible or obvious upon superficial examination the theory is absurd on its face— Kim Neely
c(1) : assurance, confidence maintaining a firm face in spite of adversity
(2) : effrontery how anyone could have the face to ask that question
d : dignity, prestige afraid to lose face
5 : surface:
a(1) : a front, upper, or outer surface vanished from the face of the earth
(2) : the front of something having two or four sides the face of a clock
(3) : facade the face of a building
(4) : an exposed surface of rock
(5) : any of the plane surfaces that bound a geometric solid A cube is a solid with six square faces.
b : a surface specially prepared: such as
(1) : the principal finished surface (as of a tool or implement) The tendency of the belt is to slip over the face of the pulley in a counter clockwise direction.— H. W. Harkness Cans are made from … thin sheets of steel lightly coated with tin. This tin coating serves two purposes: it covers the face of the steel sheet, preserving it from rust; and it acts as a medium by which parts of a sheet may be made to adhere to one another by soldering.— B. S. Luh et al.
(2) : the right side (as of cloth or leather)
(3) : an inscribed, printed, or marked side the two faces of a coin
c : a striking surface (as of a tool) the face of the golf club the face of an anvil
d(1) : the surface (as of type) that receives the ink and transfers it to the paper
(2) : a style of type
6 : the end or wall of a mine tunnel, drift, or excavation at which work is progressing
8a : person lots of new faces around here
b professional wrestling : baby face sense 2 Randy Orton earned respect as a heel because of his cocky, overconfident persona. As a face, he's lost the smugness that defined his character and is struggling to find his identity.— Rennie Detore
in one's face
: directly and aggressively in one's presence dunked the ball in his face often used with get to describe aggressively confrontational speech or behavior his boss got in his face about being late
in the face of or less commonly in face of
: face-to-face with : despite fearless in the face of danger
to one's face
: in one's presence or so that one is fully aware of what is going on If you have something to say about me, say it to my face.

face

verb
faced; facing

Definition of face (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to confront impudently faced him with evidence of treachery
2a : to line near the edge especially with a different material
b : to cover the front or surface of faced the building with marble
3 : to meet face-to-face or in competition The team will face a tough opponent in its next game.
4a : to stand or sit with the face toward The teacher faced the class.
b : to have the front oriented toward a house facing the park
5a : to recognize and deal with straightforwardly face the facts
b : to master by confronting with determination used with down faced down his critics
6a : to have as a prospect : be confronted by face a grim future
b : to be a prospect or a source of concern for the problems that face us
c : to bring face-to-face he was faced with ruin
7 : to make the surface of (something, such as a stone) flat or smooth
8 : to cause (troops) to face in a particular direction on command The captain faced his company to the left.

intransitive verb

1 : to have the face or front turned in a specified direction The house faced south.
2 : to turn the face in a specified direction She faced to her left.
face the music
: to meet an unpleasant situation, a danger, or the consequences of one's actions

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Synonyms for face

Synonyms: Noun

countenance, kisser [slang], mug, pan [slang], puss [slang], visage

Synonyms: Verb

front, look (toward), point (toward)

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Examples of face in a Sentence

Noun

He has a round face. His face is familiar but I can't remember his name. I'll never forget the look on her face. He fell flat on his face. I didn't recognize any of the faces around the table. There are lots of new faces around the office.

Verb

The teacher faced the class. She turned around to face the window. He sat facing the wall. Turn and face to the east. The house faces the park. The living room faces the afternoon sun. My shoe was lying in the corner with its sole facing upward. The flower opens facing skyward. Look at the illustration on the facing page. Only by facing your problems can you hope to overcome them.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The way her girlfriend held O’Hara’s face just about melted me into a pile of molten lesbian lava. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "This Is How You Come Out in 2019," 9 July 2019 After the game, the left side of his face, under his eye was clearly still very puffy. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "In lights out fashion, Pearland East 10s capture Section 3 championship," 9 July 2019 So is a photo of three people with a big red X drawn across someone’s face. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Inside Instagram's War on Bullying," 8 July 2019 Afterward, approached the monument and touched the bronze sculpture of her son’s face. Cassandra Jaramillo, Dallas News, "'Just so amazing': New Dallas police memorial honors 5 fallen officers from July 7 ambush," 8 July 2019 In the years before the ban, the records show, Vermont officials ran a number of face scans on driver license photos at the request of ICE agents. al.com, "How the FBI and ICE use driver license photos in investigations without consent," 8 July 2019 In the years before the ban, the records show, Vermont officials ran a number of face scans on driver license photos at the request of ICE agents. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI and ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches," 8 July 2019 Clips of Baker snaring a rebound, maneuvering up the court and burying a step-back three in a defender’s face should have Smart and the rest of the Longhorns salivating. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "As Jaxson Hayes heads to NBA, Will Baker steps in for Texas," 7 July 2019 In the years before the ban, the records show, Vermont officials ran a number of face scans on driver license photos at the request of ICE agents. Drew Harwell, chicagotribune.com, "FBI, ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches," 7 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The challenges currently facing the U.S. cannot be blamed on China. Washington Post, "Banned at home, Twitter becomes a new tool for Chinese diplomats abroad," 10 July 2019 With no protective covering and facing a roughly 188-foot drop into a roiling pool of water filled with large rocks, the man was unlikely to survive, history suggested. Allyson Chiu, BostonGlobe.com, "A man was swept over the largest waterfall at Niagara Falls, police say. He survived.," 10 July 2019 The basic tactic is to address specific, pressing policy challenges facing Florida communities — algal blooms, coastal flooding, threats to the Everglades — without discussing the climatic forces driving change. Michael Wilner, sun-sentinel.com, "Trump makes environment pitch to Florida voters without saying ‘climate change’," 10 July 2019 With no protective covering and facing a roughly 188-foot drop into a roiling pool of water filled with large rocks, history suggested that the man’s survival was unlikely. Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, "A man was swept over Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls, police say. He survived.," 10 July 2019 As a presidential candidate, López Obrador spoke about the challenges facing women in Mexico. Luis Gómez Romero, The Conversation, "Mexican president López Obrador has a woman problem," 10 July 2019 Trace the stencil along the top and bottom of the broadcloth, with the point always facing outward, and cut out. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "How to Make a DIY Moana Halloween Costume," 9 July 2019 Instead of facing federal charges, Epstein pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges in 2008 and served just 13 months in prison. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Jeffrey Epstein indictment unsealed: Girls as young as 14 in alleged sex ring," 8 July 2019 Immigrants crossing the Rio Grande are just one challenge facing local border agents. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Facing Trump’s asylum limits, refugees from as far as Africa languish in a Mexican camp," 8 July 2019

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for face

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Vulgar Latin *facia (attested in early Medieval Latin as facia "portrait"), re-formation of Latin faciēs "appearance, aspect, form, human face," from fac-, stem of facere "to make, do" + -iēs, noun suffix, usually deverbal — more at fact

Verb

Middle English facen, verbal derivative of face face entry 1

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Learn More about face

Dictionary Entries near face

fac

FAC

facade

face

faceable

face-about

face and fill

Statistics for face

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for face

The first known use of face was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for face

face

noun

English Language Learners Definition of face

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the front part of the head that has the eyes, nose, and mouth on it
: a facial expression
: the way something appears when it is first seen or thought about

face

verb

English Language Learners Definition of face (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stand or sit with your face and body turned toward (something or someone)
: to have the front part toward (something)
: to be on the page that is opposite to (another page)

face

noun
\ ˈfās How to pronounce face (audio) \

Kids Definition of face

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the front part of the head
2 : an expression of the face a sad face
3 : outward appearance It looks easy on the face of it.
4 : a funny or silly expression
5 : an expression showing displeasure
6 : respect entry 1 sense 1 He was afraid of losing face.
7 : a front, upper, or outer surface
8 : one of the flat surfaces that bound a solid a face of a cube

face

verb
faced; facing

Kids Definition of face (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to have the front or face toward The house faces east.
2 : to cover the front or surface of The building will be faced with marble.
3 : to oppose with determination face danger

face

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfās How to pronounce face (audio) \

Medical Definition of face

1a : the front part of the human head including the chin, mouth, nose, cheeks, eyes, and usually the forehead
b : the corresponding part of the head of a lower animal
2 : surface especially : a front, upper, or outer surface

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face

noun

Legal Definition of face

1a : outward appearance
b : the surface or superficial reading or meaning of something (as a document or statute) that does not take into account outside information the face of [the] deed reveals that she had two purposes in mindState v. Rand, 366 A.2d 183 (1976) often used in the phrases on its face and on the face of is…neutral on its face but has a discriminatory effect on women— Marcia Coyle did not see on the face of the amendment that it was precisely directed at public as distinguished from private destructionO'Brien v. United States, 376 F.2d 538 (1967)
2 : the inscribed or printed side of something (as a document) broadly : the front side of something inscribed or printed on both sides the face of a stock certificate

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More from Merriam-Webster on face

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with face

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for face

Spanish Central: Translation of face

Nglish: Translation of face for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of face for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about face

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