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about-face on (something)
1. verb To completely reverse one's opinion, position, or course of action regarding some issue, especially very suddenly. The senator seems to have about-faced on the tax proposal, suddenly throwing his support behind the measure. Once she saw how much money the company stood to lose, the CEO about-faced on her decision.
2. noun A complete and typically sudden reversal of opinion or action. The senator's about-face on the tax proposal has taken many by surprise. Once she saw how much money the company stood to lose, the CEO did an about-face on her decision.
See also: on
To turn one's head away from someone or something, so as to look elsewhere. I gashed my hand pretty badly last night and had to face away from all the blood.
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.
1. To look straight ahead. Please face forward so that I can buckle your seatbelt.
2. To position someone or something so that they or it face straight ahead. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "forward." Face the kids forward so they're actually looking at the photographer.
To confront or otherwise handle something directly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "head-on." I'm nervous about having to make a presentation to the entire board, but it is a challenge I will face head-on. Instead of facing it head-on, he decided to delay the project until someone else can manage it.
face into (something)
1. To turn in the direction of something. Hey, face into the wind so that the dress is blowing in this shot.
2. To turn someone or something toward something. If your plant is wilting, why don't you try facing it into the sun?
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.
face on(to) (something)
To look out onto something. Does our room really face onto the ocean? How lovely!
1. verb To address someone or something directly, often in an unpleasant situation. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "out." If you want to finally resolve the tension, you should face out your mom instead of avoiding her.
2. verb To be turned in a particular direction, typically so that something is visible. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "face" and "out." I want the labels on all of the bottles to face out so that people can see what their drink options are.
3. verb To have the top or printed side turned up so that it can be seen. When you're done, please flip your test over so that the answers don't face out.
face the consequences
To experience negative repercussions for one's actions or words, especially those that one would expect to incur punishment. I told you not to try to sneak in, and now that you've been caught, you're just going to have to face the consequences. If we do nothing to curb this pollution, I guarantee we will face the consequences in the future.
face the day
To begin the tasks that one must do in a day. I wasn't exactly thrilled about having to face the day after only getting four hours sleep. I'm not ready to face the day until I've had at least one cup of coffee. Well, it's been nice having a lazy morning, but I think it's time to face the day.
face the music
To experience negative repercussions for one's actions or words, especially those that one would expect to incur punishment. I told you not to try to sneak in, and now that you've been caught, you're just going to have to face the music. If we do nothing to curb this pollution, I guarantee we will face the music in the future.
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, on one's back with one's face literally turned upward. I just can't sleep on my stomach—I have to lie face up.
4. adjective Of an object, with the top or printed side turned up so that it is visible. Put your projects face up on your desks, and I will come around and collect them.
face up to (someone or something)
1. To deal with or tackle something that is troublesome 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. We need to face up to these financial issues if our company is going to survive.
2. To confront or stand up to someone face to face. He was scared, but John faced up to the bully and told him to leave them alone. The two men faced up to one another, neither willing to back down.
put (one) through (one's) facings
To force one to demonstrate one's skill in a particular area, usually in a grueling manner. Boy, they really put me through my facings at that job interview today—I had to give a mock lecture to a whole team of people! If my son wants a promotion, I'm going to put him through his facings so that he truly earns it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
face away (from someone or something)
to turn away from someone or something. Please face away from me while I change clothes. I'll face away. You go right ahead.
1. . to begin a hockey game with two players facing one another. They faced off and the match was on.
2. to prepare for a confrontation. The opposing candidates faced off and the debate began. They faced off and I knew there was going to be a fight.
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 someone or something forward
to turn someone or something to the front. (Also with many other directions—backward, to the right, to the left, etc.) Please face your brother forward now. Face the book forward so we can read the title.
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.
face something head-on
Fig. to confront a problem directly and openly. Let's face this problem head-on and try to solve it quickly and painlessly.
face the music
Fig. to receive punishment; to accept the unpleasant results of one's actions. Mary broke a dining-room window and had to face the music when her father got home. After failing a math test, Tom had to go home and face the music.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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."
face the music
Confront unpleasantness, especially the consequences of one's errors. For example, When the check bounced, he had to face the music. The precise allusion in this expression has been lost. Most authorities believe it refers to a theater's pit orchestra, which an actor must face when he faces what can be a hostile audience, but some hold it comes from the military, where a formal dismissal in disgrace would be accompanied by band music. [Second half of 1800s] Also see face up to.
see under face down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
face the music
COMMON If you face the music, you accept responsibility for something that you have done wrong and you prepare yourself to be criticized or punished for it. We were foreigners in a forbidden area, the authorities had found out and we were about to face the music. Sooner or later, she'll have to face the music and it won't be pleasant. Note: The `music' in this expression may refer to the orchestra at an opera or musical. The orchestra sits in front of the stage, so when a performer faces the audience, they also face the orchestra, or `music'. Alternatively, the expression may come from an army practice in which a soldier who had been dismissed for dishonourable behaviour was sent away with drums beating.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
face the musicbe confronted with the unpleasant consequences of your actions.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
face the ˈmusic(informal) accept the difficulties, criticism and unpleasant results that your words or actions may cause: He’s been cheating us out of our money for years and now it’s time for him to face the music.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
1. To begin a confrontation or competition: The troublemakers had just faced off when the playground aide noticed them.
2. To begin to confront or compete with someone: Those in favor of the proposal faced off with their opponents yesterday. The incumbent faced off against the challenger in a televised debate.
3. To cause something or someone to begin a confrontation or competition with or against something or someone: The organizers faced the finalists off against each other. The organizers faced each finalist off with the other. The organizers faced these two teams off early in the competition.
4. Sports To start play in ice hockey, lacrosse, and similar games by releasing the puck or ball between two opposing players: In hockey, the teams face off at the start of each period.
1. To be placed so that a front surface shows: The paintings on the wall face out.
2. To place something so that its front surface is exposed: Keep the two parts of the sign folded together while it's raining, but face them out so we can read them when the rain stops. The window dresser faced the mannequins out so that passersby could see the clothing.
3. To confront directly and engage with someone or something, often to resolve or get through a conflict or a problem: Don't be afraid of them; you should face them out and defend yourself. I faced out my fear of flying and walked on the plane.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
face the music
tv. to receive the rebuke that is due one. (see also chinmusic.) You have to face the music eventually.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
face the music
To accept the unpleasant consequences, especially of one's own actions.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.