(redirected from about-faces)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

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 ?
The following year, Reagan made one of the greatest ideological about-faces in the history of the presidency, agreeing to a $165 billion bailout of Social Security.
The Cornell Yeats, an exemplary edition which has already progressed through seven volumes of the poems and four of the plays, lays bare not only the author's own revisions, as well as his hesitations, false starts and about-faces, but also those inadvertent alterations wrought by the hand of chance: words or phrases or whole lines swallowed up between fair copy and proof; misarrangements of sequences; and worst of all, the pious intentions of the author's amanuenses, especially his wife.
In a time ruled by rapid change, takeovers, and about-faces, it is more critical than ever that you know where your firm is heading.
His economic policies displayed even greater about-faces.
Diplomacy's poor estate has not been helped by the abundance of embarrassing about-faces during the Clinton years.
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.