save (one's) 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 someone's face

enable someone to avoid humiliation.
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 ?
Backed by a versatile three-piece band, Tunstall delivered storming versions of The Other Side Of The World and Saving My Face while cleverly blending Hold On into The Bangles' Walk Like An Egyptian and her breakthrough hit Black Horse And The Cherry Tree into White Stripes' Seven Nation Army, which even featured a kazoo solo
From then on it was plain sailing with Saving My Face and closing number Suddenly I See stand-out gems.
Old favourites like Suddenly I See and recent hit Saving My Face kept the crowd of all ages bopping along.
I wouldn't go for plastic surgery now but maybe when I was older and after I'd had children, I would consider it," said the singer whose latest single, Saving My Face, is about the trial and tribulations women face as they get older.
KTTUNSTALL, who released new single Saving My Face on Monday, hits the road next Spring for a tour that includes a date at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall on Wednesday April 9.
SAVING My Face has everything you might expect from a KT Tunstall song; a stomping rhythm, impassioned vocals and acoustic guitars galore, but the lack of any discernible chorus means it's a largely forgettable affair.
The star is turned into a spectre for the film promoting her new single Saving My Face.
Other Side Of The World, Under The Weather and Miniature Disasters brought back memories, while Hold On, Saving My Face and Funnyman look certain to become future favourites.