about-face

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an about-face

A sudden, complete turn or change of direction. This phrase can describe one's physical movement or a change in concept. She did an about-face and walked back up the steps once she saw that the subway wasn't running. Based on the reactions we got from test audiences, we need to do an about-face with the movie's plot.

* about-face (on someone or something)

Fig. a reversal of attitude or action. (*Typically: do ~; have ~.) She did an about-face on her rule about not eating in the living room. Now we can do it if we want.
References in periodicals archive ?
Successful stabilization in such a context is costly, and it is clear that a reduction in uncertainty about future policies is critical to it, given the past record of political and economic stop and go policies and about-faces.
Diplomacy's poor estate has not been helped by the abundance of embarrassing about-faces during the Clinton years.
Then, after the nasty scheme has worked, Leonie about-faces and (implausibly) convinces George to set things right.
In dismissing the breathtaking about-faces prompted by Mirbeau's ideological inconstancy, biographer Martin Schwarz has ascribed Mirbeau's enthusiasms and disenchantments to a critique of society that finally left the author convinced its institutions were hypocritical or flawed.
Surprisingly, Bush agreed, marking a major about-face for a president not known for about-faces and seemingly paving the way for a bold initiative to help ease the standoff with North Korea.
In the end, Wilson made any number of compromises and about-faces on the Fourteen Points and other related American policies, such as letting the Japanese take the Shantung peninsula in China.
This "serialized" narrative has its turns and moments of suspense, its about-faces, dead ends, and unexpected breakthroughs, its logic and randomness.
Caught off guard by the enormous displays of grief over Diana's death, the palace executed a series of about-faces after widespread criticism that the royals had remained aloof.
And to anyone observing the fray too carefully, his characteristic about-faces have to appear ludicrous.
Byrd has done about-faces before: He supported Reagan's tax cut in 1981 but opposed the current Bush's cut two decades later.