save (one's) face

(redirected from save his face)

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 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.

save face

Avoid humiliation or embarrassment, preserve dignity, as in Rather than fire him outright, they let him save face by accepting his resignation. The phrase, which uses face in the sense of "outward appearances," is modeled on the antonym lose face. [Late 1800s]
See also: face, save
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.

save face

COMMON If you save face, you do something so that people continue to respect you and your reputation is not damaged. Most children have a need to save face in front of their friends. Last Wednesday Poland somehow allowed the United States to take a three-goal lead before slightly saving face by scoring two themselves. Note: You can also talk about face-saving or a face-saving action. There have been no negotiations, no compromises and no attempts at face-saving. Officials are looking for a face-saving way to back down. Note: An action or excuse which enables someone to save face can be called a face-saver. The hope is that this exchange of prisoners will give the kidnappers the face-saver they need to release the hostages. Compare with lose face. Note: This comes from a Chinese expression which refers to keeping a calm expression and managing to avoid the disgrace of revealing one's emotions.
See also: face, save
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

save face

retain respect; avoid humiliation.
1994 Thomas Boswell Cracking Show And Rose got to save face, at least in his own eyes, with one last brassy news conference.
See also: face, save

save someone's face

enable someone to avoid humiliation.
See also: face, save
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

save (somebody’s) ˈface

do something in order to keep the respect of other people: The announcement was an attempt by the government to save face. OPPOSITE: lose face ▶ ˈface-saving adj.: face-saving measures
See also: face, save
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
"All right," he said pridelessly, "tyke it or leave it, I'll like yer none the less for it." And to save his face he turned fiercely upon the onlookers.
He added: "I have got to try to save his face here a little bit.
"To save his face in the elections, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam has made Urmila a scapegoat," he said.
Moreover, Al-Ghoul said that the French president attempted "to make a scapegoat of Egypt" to save his face himself from the pressures he has been experiencing inside and outside France.
But the Chinese aren't like anyone the president has dealt with before, and it was important for Xi to walk away from the table with a deal that would save his face. Since July, the US has hit $250 billion of Chinese goods with tariffs.
The Senior Minister also criticized Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman for playing role in this regard and said that in fact defeat from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is not still being digested and diesel fame personality trying to save his face.
'He (Fazl) is doing all this just to save his face,' the minister added.
He warned Mirza to desist from leveling baseless allegations against the party leadership, otherwise, he will find no place to save his face if he (Malik) made disclosures.
We want a person with the guts to say sorry I got it wrong - not a wimp with an inferiority complex who is willing to see Birmingham turned into a tip to save his face.
How long do we have to pretend he has, just to save his face?
I think Dhoni failed in England and had nothing else to save his face than doing a childish act.
"The UIC demanded the electricity ministry to resign during a meeting held today to save his face because his inability to provide electricity during his post," Abd Ali Lafta told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).
The image features in a television documentary in which Rees-Jones, from Wrexham, speaks openly for the first time about the surgeons' battle to save his face.
Or perhaps Mr Byers, as a BMW spokesman has claimed, 'has a political position and must save his face.'
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the former made the statement just to "save his face."