save face

save face

To try to regain favorable standing after something embarrassing has happened. I was late to the meeting but tried to save face by blaming an urgent call. There's no way for Audrey to save face now that the entire company knows she embezzled money.
See also: face, save

save face

Avoid humiliation or embarrassment, preserve dignity, as in Rather than fire him outright, they let him save face by accepting his resignation. The phrase, which uses face in the sense of "outward appearances," is modeled on the antonym lose face. [Late 1800s]
See also: face, save

save face

COMMON If you save face, you do something so that people continue to respect you and your reputation is not damaged. Most children have a need to save face in front of their friends. Last Wednesday Poland somehow allowed the United States to take a three-goal lead before slightly saving face by scoring two themselves. Note: You can also talk about face-saving or a face-saving action. There have been no negotiations, no compromises and no attempts at face-saving. Officials are looking for a face-saving way to back down. Note: An action or excuse which enables someone to save face can be called a face-saver. The hope is that this exchange of prisoners will give the kidnappers the face-saver they need to release the hostages. Compare with lose face. Note: This comes from a Chinese expression which refers to keeping a calm expression and managing to avoid the disgrace of revealing one's emotions.
See also: face, save

save face

retain respect; avoid humiliation.
1994 Thomas Boswell Cracking Show And Rose got to save face, at least in his own eyes, with one last brassy news conference.
See also: face, save

save (somebody’s) ˈface

do something in order to keep the respect of other people: The announcement was an attempt by the government to save face. OPPOSITE: lose face ▶ ˈface-saving adj.: face-saving measures
See also: face, save
References in periodicals archive ?
SAVE Face, based in Talbot Green, Rhondda Cynon Taff, is a database of cosmetic practitioners from around the UK who have been checked and visited by the organisation to ensure they are fit to administer treatments.
Understandably, Paddy has a few questions about where the cash has disappeared to, but when he asks Pearl about it, she tells a big lie to save face.
Here are a few other cultural insights for Westerners to bear in mind when you make friends with your Turkish work colleagues or neighbors or your Turkish in-laws: It is an important value to preserve dignity and save face.
The Save Face register, which was launched on Friday, features a database of practitioners from around the UK who have been checked and visited by the organisation to ensure they are fit to practice and administer treatments.
Today he's trying to save face by picking Rory Loy of Falkirk at 4-1 at home to Livingston.
11 might have continued had he not faced the South African rampant pace attack to save face for his more esteemed batting colleagues, the report added.
But to save face the councillors went ahead and started using the scheme.
What's certain though, is if he does run out of get-out alleys, and plays the love-of-the-fans card to save face, there will be many so desperate for his goals they will actually believe him.
He will be under immense pressure to at least save face for Delhi this season.
Palicki and Miller went head-to-head in a series of physical and mental challenges that tested their ability to save face under pressure.
As such it has said to have reverted to an increase in services tariffs and water taxes to save face, despite starting a massive project developmental work regarding water passages, streets, and road constructions/repairs worth Rs650 million.
But council sources said it was a move to send him away from the scene for some time to save face.
England are 5-1 to fight back and save face in the series, with the draw a 14-1 shot.
Feed-in tariff from solar PV panels is completely out of control, Chris Huhne knows the scheme will not save one iota of fossil fuel, yet to save face he continues to hand out pounds Ms that we certainly cannot afford.
After the past few days of clashes and looting, however, it appears that either Mubarak can save face or the country of Egypt can.