save (one's) face

(redirected from save their 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 periodicals archive ?
While responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent comment on Indore MLA Akash Vijyvargiya, he said, "They praise and glorify Godse and to save their face, they will say that they'll not forgive him.
He said that opposition was trying to escape from accountability and to save their face. The Bilawal's Iftar party was the last attempt to save the politics of Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, he added.
However, PDP is strained and feel no shame as they are desperate to save their face,' he added.
"MPs should carefully decide on the law to save their face in this world and in the hereafter."
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian legislator dismissed the US claims about Tehran's arms shipment to Iraq as a worn-out plot staged by the Americans to save their face and interests in the Middle-Eastern country.
"Dau should be informed that [the] people of South Sudan are not all jobseekers in order to rebel and take part in the most senseless rebellion led by group of jobseekers, just to save their face," Ateny said, adding "The issue of ethnicity has no space in this conflict".
PTI's Mian Aslam Iqbal tried to pacify the situation and requested the speaker that the matter be discussed in assembly so that the legislators could save their face in their respective constituencies.
"This is the only outcome to save their face," he concluded.
Local Tories were out to save their faces again after an embarrassing party tangle.
So great was the public outcry that, to save their faces, the councillors paid a consultant pounds 14,000 to tell them whether taking the books out of the library made sense.
It was probably to save their faces among the criminal fraternity."
SAVINGS ACCOUNT "The church will lose many souls because men in authority want to save their faces, and sometimes to save the faces of dead men." --The late Catholic novelist Morris West (quoted in the Economist, Jan.
The Punjab Congress leaders are trying hard to save their faces because they know that the people will never forget the 1984 genocide in which thousands of Sikhs were massacred and lakhs rendered homeless, the statement quoted him as saying.
However, the hosts managed to save their faces with a career best 6-68 wicket haul by paceman Trent Boult, which led New Zealand to stumps on 35-3, leading England by 274 after Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum chose not to enforce the follow-on, the report added.