save face

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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 ?
However, Saving Face has shown me that no matter how difficult the circumstances, there are people who dedicate their lives to bettering the lives of their fellow citizens.
Joy: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge with the Oscar for Saving Face.
Saving face was more important in bureaucratic/hierarchical societies where people were promoted on the basis of position rather than merit, however there were many sections of society that did not consider it as important.
It was all about saving face for Bishop Smith and his predecessor Bishop Alan Clarke (who originally issued the Imprimatur) in particular, and the episcopate in general.
As a result, saving face and keeping up a good front formed the core of Marietta's personality and she retreated behind a mask of impervious charm.
Clinton is interested in his own re-election campaign, and in saving face for the U.
Considering the baby boomer population is now peaking into their 40's and 50's, saving face is becoming big business.
Saving Face follows British plastic surgeon Dr Mohammad Jawad in his effort to help those attacked in this way.
The films in feature category included Shoaib Mansoor's Bol and Mehreen Jabbar's Raam Chand Pakistani and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's Saving Face in documentary category.
Saving Face' brings together the hard work and creativity of an ambitious documentarian, the dedication of a passionate doctor, and determination of valiant victims of acid attacks," the newspaper said, "The Oscar nod for Saving Face recognizes of a Pakistani filmmaker and sends message to all the ambitious Pakistanis and the world that hard work pays off, no matter where you live and your passion to prevail over the crisis can take you places whether you are a filmmaker, a doctor or a survivor.
Called Saving Face, it features renowned plastic surgeon Mohammad Ali Jawad, who repairs the wounds suffered by women at the hands of jealous partners.