look (one) in the face
look (one) in the face
To make eye contact with one, typically in a way that is confident or without shame. Look me in the face and tell me you're not lying. I feel so bad for what I said to Erica. I don't know if I'll ever be able to look her in the face again.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
look someone in the faceand look someone in the eye; stare someone in the face
Fig. to face someone directly. (Facing someone this way is a sign of sincerity.) I don't believe you. Look me in the eye and say that, She looked him in the face and said she never wanted to see him again.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
look someone in the face
Also, look someone in the eye. Face someone directly and forthrightly. These expressions imply honesty-or at least the appearance of honesty-in what is said, as in Can you look me in the face and tell me you don't want that prize? or John looked me in the eye and told me he didn't break the window. The first term was first recorded in 1566, the variant in 1931. Also see stare in the face.
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.
look someone in the faceor
look someone in the eye
1. If you look someone in the face or look someone in the eye, you look at them directly in order to convince them that what you are saying is true. He looked me in the face again and repeated, `I swear to you that it wasn't me.' How can we look others in the eye and say `This is a decent country'?
2. If you cannot or will not look someone in the face or look them in the eye, you are too ashamed or embarrassed to look at them directly. Why did I do that? I can't ever look her in the face again. When he tried to speak to her, she wouldn't look him in the eye.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
(be unable to) look somebody in the ˈeye(s)/ˈface(be unable to) look at somebody directly (because you feel embarrassed, ashamed, etc.): I knew he was lying because he wouldn’t look me in the eye when he spoke.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017