save face

save (one's) face

To try to regain favorable standing after something embarrassing has happened; to give or afford someone an opportunity to avoid embarrassment, humiliation, or shame. I tried to offer an explanation that incorporated elements of what he'd said as a means of saving his face after such an awkward presentation. There's no way for Audrey to save her face now that the entire company knows she embezzled money.
See also: face, save

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 ?
Summary: Analysts condemn Doha's naive attempts to save face by publishing false media reports that Saudi Arabia initiated latest dialogue
This is Russia trying to save face, and they can't, they can't," Haley told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" yesterday.
The two big-time businessmen who know people in high places in China said that the Asian superpower would find a way for both parties to save face.
00pm Having fled with Al Cowlings in the white Ford Bronco before the police arrived to arrest him, OJ Simpson becomes a hunted man as the district attorney's office and the LAPD scramble to save face and find him.
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.
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.
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.
A nuclear test may now be seen as even more necessary, not just to further their weapons capability, but to save face.
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.