on the face of it


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on the face of it

As it seems; superficially; based on what is known. Things seem to be improving on the face of it, but there is still a huge problem with crime in the inner city.
See also: face, of, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

on the face of it

Fig. superficially; from the way it looks. This looks like a serious problem on the face of it. It probably is minor, however. On the face of it, it seems worthless.
See also: face, of, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on the face of it

Seemingly, based on available evidence, as in On the face of it this project should break even in six months. This idiom uses face in the sense of "a superficial view." [Early 1700s]
See also: face, of, on
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.

on the face of it

COMMON You say on the face of it to describe how something seems at first, in order to suggest that people's opinion may change when they know or think more about the subject. On the face of it that seems to make sense. But the figures don't add up. It is, on the face of it, difficult to see how the West could radically change its position.
See also: face, of, on
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

on the face of it

without necessarily knowing all of the relevant facts; at first glance.
See also: face, of, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on the ˈface of it

(informal) as something appears to you when you first look at or consider it, especially when your first impression may be or was wrong: On the face of it the pay offer looked wonderful, but in fact it wasn’t nearly as good as we thought.‘Well, what do you think of the new plans?’ ‘On the face of it, they look good but I think we need to look at them more closely.’
See also: face, of, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on the face of it

From appearances alone; apparently: On the face of it, the problem seems minor.
See also: face, of, on
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.
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