face up/down

face down

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. Just lie face down on the table and the masseuse will be in with you shortly.
4. adjective (of a thing) 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.
See also: down, face

face up

1. verb To turn something so that the top or printed side can be seen. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "up." Face your projects up, and I will come around and collect them.
2. verb To deal with or tackle something that is troublesome and/or causes one trepidation. Just face up to your role in the situation—I'm sure Maggie will forgive you if you're honest with her.
3. adjective (of a person) Lying on one's stomach. I just can't sleep on my stomach—I have to lie on my back.
4. adjective (of a thing) With the top or printed side turned up so that it cannot be seen. Put your projects face up on your desks, and I will come around and collect them.
See also: face, up

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.
See also: down, face

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.
See also: down, face

face up (to someone or something)

to confront with courage someone or something representing a threat or unpleasantness. You are simply going to have to admit your mistake and face up to the boss. You must face up to the authorities if you have done something wrong.
See also: face, up

face down

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."
See also: down, face

face up

see under face down.
See also: face, up

ˌface ˈup/ˈdown


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.
See also: down, face, up

face down

v.
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.
See also: down, face

face up

v.
1. To position something so that its front surface is oriented upward: The designer faced the mirror up to reflect the sunlight.
2. face up to To confront an unpleasant situation; accept responsibility, blame, or a particular reality: The manager finally faced up to the problem of theft.
See also: face, up