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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 In a rare sentencing enhancement allowed for hate crimes, a Kendall County man received a 45-year prison term for knifing a Black man in the face and threatening to rape the children of the Hispanic officer who arrested him. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Boerne hate crime defendant gets 45-year prison term for knifing Black man, spitting on Hispanic officer," 9 Apr. 2021 One of those songs that slaps you in the face in a good way. Steve Baltin, Forbes, "Video Premiere: L.A. Duo Holy Wars Turn The American Dream On Its Head With Powerful ‘TV Dinner’," 9 Apr. 2021 Witnesses said the 18-year-old approached the group screaming and punched one of them in the face, followed by the 15-year-old, who pulled out a gun and fired at the group. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Longstanding feud between two groups preceded Mayfair Mall shooting, police report says," 9 Apr. 2021 Four days later, video footage showed a 76-year-old Chinese woman who was punched in the face by a 39-year-old white man, on the same day that a white man killed eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta. Jennifer Ho, The Conversation, "White supremacy is the root of all race-related violence in the US," 8 Apr. 2021 Then, Rolling came back with his own gun and shot his father in the face, state attorney Smith said. Glenn Ruppel, ABC News, "How a woman in Louisiana helped break the case of 5 student murders in Florida," 8 Apr. 2021 Paul punched Raymond in the face during a tussle, knocking his acrylic dentures from his mouth, the complaint says. Mario Ariza, sun-sentinel.com, "Brothers sue two Fort Lauderdale police officers over forceful arrest," 7 Apr. 2021 Both Hubbard and Amiott went to the ground, and Amiott repeatedly punched Hubbard in the face while the second officer held Hubbard down, according to the suit. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Euclid settles lawsuit for $450,000 over violent traffic stop with officers," 7 Apr. 2021 When Boyzo-Hernandez resisted turning over his money, Harris shot him in the face, prosecutors said. oregonlive, "Judge suppresses evidence from wiretap in murder case, ruling OR’s wiretap law violates federal Wiretap Act," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb He was forced to reject this belief or face charges of heresy, a belief contrary to orthodox religious doctrine. Arkansas Online, "Letters," 10 Apr. 2021 Authorities in Texas said Larry Bollin, 27, was arrested Thursday after a manhunt and could face additional charges stemming from the shooting at Kent Moore Cabinets in Bryan, Texas. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Texas workplace shooting: 1 dead and multiple people shot, including state trooper; suspect charged with murder," 9 Apr. 2021 The officers could also face charges in state court. Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio police officer indicted on charge of 'recklessly' assaulting suspect," 9 Apr. 2021 Yet no one has been indicted on the most serious crime experts discussed in the aftermath of the siege—sedition—and many of those arrested will face only misdemeanor charges. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "The Capitol Attack Was The Most Documented Crime in History. Will That Ensure Justice?," 9 Apr. 2021 The driver suspected of a hit-and-run in downtown Tuscaloosa Thursday night has been taken into custody and is expected to face charges related to the incident that left a victim hospitalized with serious injuries. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Suspect captured in overnight hit-and-run in Tuscaloosa’s Temerson Square," 9 Apr. 2021 Los Angeles prosecutors have asked for Weinstein to be temporarily extradited to the city from New York to face those charges, and an extradition hearing is slated to take place this month. Alison Durkee, Forbes, "Harvey Weinstein Appeals Rape Conviction And 23-Year Jail Sentence," 5 Apr. 2021 Stephenson said the driver and passenger were expected to face charges of human smuggling. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Border Patrol agents thwart human smuggling attempt along Imperial Beach coastline," 5 Apr. 2021 The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the allegations on Sunday, stating that those responsible for the illicit restaurants could face possible charges of endangerment and undeclared labor. Washington Post, "French authorities investigate whether ministers dined at secret luxury restaurants, violating restrictions," 5 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for face

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for face

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Face.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/face. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on face

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