put a good face on

put a good face on

To act as though a particular situation is not as undesirable or grim as it really is. Although my mother tried to put a good face on her medical situation, I knew that her health was rapidly deteriorating. They tried to put a good face on their break-up, but we all knew that they had been fighting with each other for weeks.
See also: face, good, on, put

put a good/bold face on something, to

To make the best of things. This term has been around since the fourteenth century, and the practice itself, of pretending things are better than they are, is no doubt much older. “Set a good face on a bad matter,” wrote Humphrey Gifford (A Posie of Gilloflowers, 1580).
See also: bold, face, good, on, put