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1. verb To begin a competition or contest. If you make it to the finals, you'll have to face off against their best player.
2. verb To initiate a competition or contest between two people. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "face" and "off." The referees will face you two off before the match begins.
3. verb In certain sports (like ice hockey), to begin play by dropping the ball or puck between two opponents. Send your best center out there to face off against theirs.
4. noun A conflict or confrontation. The phrase is typically hyphenated when used as a noun. A: "How long were those two in a face-off before the teacher got there?" B: "Long enough for Joey to give Pete a black eye!"
5. noun In hockey, when the puck is dropped between two opposing players to begin play, either at the start of the game or after a stoppage. The phrase is typically hyphenated when used as a noun. Our center won the face-off and passed the puck up the ice.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
n. a confrontation. (From hockey.) The face-off continued for a few moments till both of them realized that there was no point in fighting.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.