look someone in the face

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.
See also: face, look

look someone in the face

or

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.
See also: face, look