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1. verb To confront or intimidate someone until they relent. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "down." I'm so impressed that that scrawny little kid faced the bully down!
2. verb To turn something so that the top or printed side cannot be seen. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "down. Be sure to face your tests down when you're done.
3. adjective Of a person, lying on one's stomach with one's face literally turned downward. Just lie face down on the table and the masseuse will be in with you shortly.
4. adjective Of an object, with the top or printed side turned down so that it cannot be seen. Put your test face down on the desk when you're done.
face someone down
to make a face-to-face stand with someone who eventually backs down. Chuck succeeded in facing Tom down. Facing down Tom wasn't difficult for Chuck.
face something down
to turn something face downward. Ted drew a card and faced it down. Face your cards down when you leave the card table.
1. With the upper surface put down, as in Please put these papers face down. This usage appears to come from cardplaying. [First half of 1600s] The antonym, "with the upper surface uppermost," is face up.
2. Overcome, intimidate, or browbeat someone in a bold confrontation. This verbal expression dates from the 16th century. Shakespeare used it in The Comedy of Errors (3:1): "Here's a villain that would face me down."
1 (of a person) with your face and stomach facing upwards/downwards: She lay face down on the bed.
2 (of a playing card) with the number or picture facing upwards/downwards: Place the card face up on the pile.
1. To confront someone in a resolute or determined manner: The incumbent faced down the opponent in a debate. The soldiers faced the enemy down.
2. To position something so that its front surface is oriented downward: I faced the picture down so that I wouldn't be reminded of my dead parents.