face  ( faces plural ) (NOUN USES)
Please look at category 25 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.
1 n-count Your face is the front part of your head from your chin to the top of your forehead, where your mouth, eyes, nose, and other features are.
oft poss N
A strong wind was blowing right in my face..., He was going red in the face and breathing with difficulty..., She had a beautiful face.
2 n-count If your face is happy, sad, or serious, for example, the expression on your face shows that you are happy, sad, or serious.
poss N, adj N
He was walking around with a sad face..., The priest frowned into the light, his face puzzled.
3 n-count The face of a cliff, mountain, or building is a vertical surface or side of it.
with supp, oft N of n
...the north face of the Eiger..., He scrambled 200 feet up the cliff face.
4 n-count The face of a clock or watch is the surface with the numbers or hands on it, which shows the time.
5 n-sing If you say that the face of an area, institution, or field of activity is changing, you mean its appearance or nature is changing.
the N of n
...the changing face of the British countryside...
6 n-sing If you refer to something as the particular face of an activity, belief, or system, you mean that it is one particular aspect of it, in contrast to other aspects.
the adj N of n
Who ever thought people would see Arsenal as the acceptable face of football?
7 n-uncount If you lose face, you do something which makes you appear weak and makes people respect or admire you less. If you do something in order to save face, you do it in order to avoid appearing weak and losing people's respect or admiration.
To cancel the airport would mean a loss of face for the present governor..., She claimed they'd been in love, but I sensed she was only saying this to save face.
9 If you say that someone can do something until they are blue in the face, you are emphasizing that however much they do it, it will not make any difference.
until sb is blue in the face phrase V inflects (emphasis)
You can criticise him until you're blue in the face, but you'll never change his personality.
10 If someone or something is face down, their face or front points downwards. If they are face up, their face or front points upwards.
face down/up phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR
All the time Stephen was lying face down and unconscious in the bath tub..., Charles laid down his cards face up.
11 You can use the expression `on the face of the earth' to mean `in the whole world', when you are emphasizing a statement that you are making or making a very exaggerated statement.
the face of the earth phrase n PHR, usu after adj-super/brd-neg (emphasis)
No human being on the face of the earth could do anything worse than what he did.
12 If you come face to face with someone, you meet them and can talk to them or look at them directly.
face to face phrase PHR after v, PHR n, oft PHR with n
We were strolling into the town when we came face to face with Jacques Dubois..., It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two men.
13 If you come face to face with a difficulty or reality, you cannot avoid it and have to deal with it.
face to face phrase PHR after v, PHR n
Eventually, he came face to face with discrimination again...
14 If an action or belief flies in the face of accepted ideas or rules, it seems to completely oppose or contradict them.
to fly in the face of sth phrase V inflects, PHR n
...scientific principles that seem to fly in the face of common sense...
15 If you take a particular action or attitude in the face of a problem or difficulty, you respond to that problem or difficulty in that way.
in the face of sth prep-phrase
The Prime Minister has called for national unity in the face of the violent anti-government protests...
16 If you have a long face, you look very unhappy or serious.
a long face phrase N inflects
He came to me with a very long face.
17 If you make a face, you show a feeling such as dislike or disgust by putting an exaggerated expression on your face, for example by sticking out your tongue. In British English, you can also say pull a face.
to make/pull a face phrase V and N inflect, oft PHR at n
Opening the door, she made a face at the musty smell..., Kathryn pulled a face at Thomas behind his back.
18 You say on the face of it when you are describing how something seems when it is first considered, in order to suggest that people's opinion may change when they know or think more about the subject.
on the face of it phrase PHR with cl
It is, on the face of it, difficult to see how the West could radically change its position.
19 If you put a brave face on a bad situation or put on a brave face, you try not to show how disappointed or upset you are about the situation. In American English you can also say put on a good face.
put a brave face on sth/put on a brave face phrase V inflects, oft PHR n
Friends will see you are putting on a brave face and might assume you've got over your grief..., Scientists are putting a good face on the troubles.
20 You can say that someone has set their face against something to indicate that they are opposed to it, especially when you want to suggest that they are wrong.
to set your face against sth phrase V inflects, PHR n/-ing
This Government has set its face against putting up income tax.
21 If you show your face somewhere, you go there and see people, although you are not welcome, are rather unwilling to go, or have not been there for some time.
to show your face phrase V inflects, PHR adv/prep
I felt I ought to show my face at her father's funeral.
22 If you manage to keep a straight face, you manage to look serious, although you want to laugh.
a straight face phrase PHR after v, with PHR
What went through Tom's mind I can't imagine, but he did manage to keep a straight face..., You have to wonder how anyone could say that seriously and with a straight face.
23 If you say something to someone's face, you say it openly in their presence.
to sb's face phrase PHR after v
Her opponent called her a liar to her face.
24 If a feeling is written all over your face or is written across your face, it is very obvious to other people from your expression.
be written all over/across/on sb's face phrase V inflects
Relief and gratitude were written all over his face..., I could just see the pain written across her face.
to shut the door in someone's face
to have egg on your face
to cut off your nose to spite your face
a slap in the face