on the face of it

idiom

: from only what is known at first
On the face of it, her proposal seems ridiculous—maybe it will sound better when we learn more about it.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web What possible connection can there be on the face of it? Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 12 Mar. 2021 This does not seem to be totally implausible on the face of it. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 29 Oct. 2011 Sure, on the face of it, a game centered around cleaning up gunk might not sound like an interesting diversion. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 On Tuesday, Apple did a masterful job at its big reveal event of hyping its lineup of four new iPhones that, on the face of it, will have faster processors, improved camera features and connect to the new 5G wireless standard. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, 14 Oct. 2020 But the point is, this is something that’s, on the face of it — this is not a problem in set theory. Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 19 Apr. 2023 The Tokyo Olympics officially kicked off this weekend, and on the face of it, the ratings for Friday’s opening ceremony looked like a flop. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 26 July 2021 Perhaps fittingly for a man who has achieved mythic status in his sport, his downfall stemmed from what, on the face of it, sounded like a trivial issue. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 5 Oct. 2020 This may not sound like much on the face of it, but keep in mind the billions of years the universe has been churning. Korey Haynes, Discover Magazine, 19 Oct. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'on the face of it.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near on the face of it

Cite this Entry

“On the face of it.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on%20the%20face%20of%20it. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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