American English

Definition of face noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    front of head
  1. 1the front part of the head between the forehead and the chin a pretty/round/freckled face He buried his face in his hands. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her! The expression on his face never changed. At that time, her face was on the covers of all the magazines.
  2. expression
  3. 2an expression that is shown on someone's face a sad/happy/smiling face Her face lit up (= showed happiness) when she spoke of the past. His face fell (= showed disappointment, sadness, etc.) when he read the headlines.
  4. -faced
  5. 3(in adjectives) having the type of face or expression mentioned pale-faced grim-faced
  6. person
  7. 4(in compounds) used to refer to a person of the type mentioned She looked around for a familiar face. a well-known face on our television screens It's nice to see some new faces here this evening. I'm tired of seeing the same old faces every time we go out!
  8. side/surface
  9. 5a side or surface of something the north face of the mountain The birds build their nests in the rock face. Ivy covered the front face of the house. How many faces does a cube have?
  10. front of clock
  11. 6the front part of a clock or watch
  12. character/aspect
  13. 7face of something the particular character of something the changing face of our city
  14. 8face of something a particular aspect of something the unacceptable face of capitalism see also in-your-face, typeface, volte-face
  15. Topic CollocationsPhysical AppearanceA person may be described as having:eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesface a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a pointy/a Roman/an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy beard a full/thin goatee a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil mustachehair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/small/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/ginger/gray hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/center partbody a long/short/thick/slender/ (disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/round/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/ (informal) (often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/ (informal) (disapproving) flabby thighs/calves big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/slim/slender/hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build Vocabulary Buildingexpressions on your face To beam is to have a big happy smile on your face. To frown is to make a serious, angry, or worried expression by bringing your eyebrows closer together so that lines appear on your forehead. To glare or glower is to look in an angry, aggressive way. To grimace is to make an ugly expression with your face to show pain, disgust, etc. To scowl is to look at someone in an angry or annoyed way. To smirk is to smile in a silly or unpleasant way that shows that you are pleased with yourself, know something that other people do not know, etc. To sneer is to show that you have no respect for someone by turning your upper lip upward.These words can also be used as nouns:She looked up with a puzzled frown. He gave me an icy glare. a grimace of painIdioms
      be staring somebody in the face
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    1. 1to be obvious or easy to see The answer was staring us in the face.
    2. 2to be certain to happen Defeat was staring them in the face.
    be staring something in the face
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    to be unable to avoid something They were staring defeat in the face.
    be written all over somebody's face
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    (of a feeling) to be very obvious to other people from the expression on someone's face Guilt was written all over his face.
    blow up in somebody's face
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    if a plan, etc. blows up in your face, it goes wrong in a way that causes you damage, embarrassment, etc.
    cut off your nose to spite your face (informal)
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    to do something when you are angry that is meant to harm someone else but that also harms you
    disappear/vanish off the face of the earth
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    to disappear completely Keep looking—they can't just have vanished off the face of the earth.
    do something till you are blue in the face (informal)
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    to try to do something as hard and as long as you possibly can but without success You can argue till you're blue in the face, but you won't change my mind.
    face to face (with somebody)
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    close to and looking at someone The two have never met face to face before. The room fell silent as she came face to face with the man who had tried to kill her.
    face to face with something
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    in a situation where you have to accept that something is true and deal with it She was at an early age brought face to face with the horrors of war.
      face up/down
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    1. 1(of a person) with your face and stomach facing upward/downward She lay face down on the bed.
    2. 2with the front part or surface facing upward/downward Place the card face up on the pile.
      fall flat on your face
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    1. 1to fall so that you are lying on your front
    2. 2to fail completely, usually causing embarrassment His next television venture fell flat on its face.
    fly in the face of something
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    to oppose or be the opposite of something that is usual or expected Such a proposal flies in the face of common sense.
    have egg on your face (informal)
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    to be made to look stupid They were left with egg on their faces when only ten people showed up.
    in somebody's face (informal)
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    annoying someone by criticizing them or telling them what to do all the time
      in the face of something
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    1. 1despite problems, difficulties, etc. She showed great courage in the face of danger. The campaign continued in the face of great opposition.
    2. 2as a result of something He was unable to deny the charges in the face of new evidence.
    laugh in somebody's face
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    to show in a very obvious way that you have no respect for someone
    (pull, wear, etc.) a long face
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    (to have) an unhappy or disappointed expression He took one look at her long face and said “What's wrong?”
    look somebody in the eye(s)/face
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    (usually used in negative sentences and questions) to look straight at someone without feeling embarrassed or ashamed Can you look me in the eye and tell me you're not lying? I'll never be able to look her in the face again!
    to be less respected or look stupid because of something you have done synonym humiliate
    make faces/a face (at somebody)
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     to produce an expression on your face to show that you do not like someone or something, or in order to make someone laugh Do you think it's funny to make faces behind my back?
    not just a pretty face (humorous)
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    used to emphasize that you have particular skills or qualities “I didn't know you could play the piano.” “I'm not just a pretty face, you know!”
    on the face of it (informal)
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    used to say that something seems to be good, true, etc. but that this opinion may need to be changed when you know more about it On the face of it, it seems like a great deal. What may, on the face of it, seem obvious often turns out to be far more complicated.
    (as) plain as the nose on your face
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    very obvious
    put your face on (informal) (old-fashioned)
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    to put on makeup
    put on a brave face, put a brave face on something
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    to pretend that you feel confident and happy when you do not I had to put on a brave face and try to show him that I wasn't worried. She put a brave face on her illness.
    to avoid or help someone avoid embarrassment She was fired, but she saved face by telling everyone she'd resigned.
    show your face
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    to appear among your friends or in public She stayed at home, afraid to show her face.
      shut/slam the door in somebody's face
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    1. 1to shut a door hard when someone is trying to come in
    2. 2to refuse to talk to someone or meet them, in a rude way
    shut your mouth/face! (slang)
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    a rude way of telling someone to be quiet or stop talking
    a slap in the face
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    an action that seems to be intended as a deliberate insult to someone
    a straight face
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    if you keep a straight face, you do not laugh or smile, although you find something funny see also straight-faced
    stuff/feed your face (informal) (usually disapproving)
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    to eat a lot of food or too much food
    to somebody's face
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    if you say something to someone's face, you say it to them directly rather than to other people He's a liar, and I've told him so to his face many times. compare behind somebody's back
    what's his/her face (informal)
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    used to refer to a person whose name you cannot remember Are you still working for what's her face?
    wipe somebody/something off the face of the earth, wipe something off the map
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    to destroy or remove someone or something completely
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: face