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save (one's) face

To try to regain favorable standing after something embarrassing has happened; to give or afford someone an opportunity to avoid embarrassment, humiliation, or shame. I tried to offer an explanation that incorporated elements of what he'd said as a means of saving his face after such an awkward presentation. There's no way for Audrey to save her face now that the entire company knows she embezzled money.
See also: face, save

save (oneself)

To abstain from engaging in sexual intercourse or activity until one is married. I was worried he wouldn't want to keep seeing me once he found out I was saving myself, but he was incredibly understanding about it. Some people made fun of me for it, but I'm glad I saved myself for marriage.
See also: save

save face

To try to regain favorable standing after something embarrassing has happened. I was late to the meeting but tried to save face by blaming an urgent call. There's no way for Audrey to save face now that the entire company knows she embezzled money.
See also: face, save

save for (someone or something)

1. To put money aside for some particular purpose or purchase in the future. We need to start saving for a new car. I've always made a point of saving for unforeseen emergencies.
2. To put something aside or keep something in reserve for someone or for a future use. A noun or pronoun is used between "save" and "for." I know you wanted to be here on Thanksgiving, so I saved some turkey and pumpkin pie for you. The coach seems to be saving his best players for the second half of the game.
3. With the exception of something. Save for one breakout success no one saw coming, the director's films have all been commercial failures. My entire department is just a bunch of idiots! Well, save for Janet—she's all right.
See also: for, save

save up (for something)

To put aside money in small increments in order to accumulate savings (typically to be able to buy something). We'll have to save up if we want to take that vacation to Greece next summer. I've stopped eating out at restaurants so I can save up for a new car.
See also: save, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

save (up) (for something)

to accumulate money in order to buy something. I can't buy a car because I am saving up for college. I don't have the money now, but I am saving up.


(one's) face Fig. to preserve one's good standing, pride, or high position (after a failure). The ambassador was more interested in saving his face than winning the argument. Most diplomats are concerned with saving face.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now click on Tools, General Options, opening the Save Options dialog box (exhibit 8, page 64) where you can enter a password.
Don't talk so much If the average mobile phone call costs 25p and a text is 10p, save by texting instead of talking two or three times a day.
When I recognize Jesus as Savior, I have to remember he comes not only to save individuals, not only to save the community of his followers, but also to save the world.
Were PS16.35, now PS12.24 SAVE: PS4.11 Fish tank ornaments eg small Nemo, Pets at Home.
Splurge: Rien Poortvliet garden gnome with fishing rod,, PS25.95 Save: Vivid Arts playful fishing gnome,, PS12.28 SAVE: PS13.67
"No matter how much you make or how little you make, you've got to save a percentage."
SAVE: PS2 kit Salter multipurpose 3-blade fruit and vegetable spiralizer, Robert Dyas, was PS19.99, now PS9.99.
SAVE: PS10 6 Jet off from Manchester on Thurs (Aug 29) with Airtours for seven nights all-inclusive in Majorca and save PS147 per booking (based on three adults sharing).
"I save for particular things," says Campbell, who is now saving tuition for his college-bound daughter.