about face, to do an(redirected from to do an about face)
do an about-face
1. To turn around a full 180 degrees, especially very suddenly. She did an about-face and walked back up the steps once she saw that the subway wasn't running. I told you, you can't come downstairs until your room is clean. Do an about-face, go back up there, and get to work!
2. To completely reverse one's opinion, position, or course of action regarding some issue, especially very suddenly. The senator seems to have done an about-face on the tax proposal, much to the surprise of his party. Based on the reactions we got from test audiences, we need to do an about-face with the movie's plot.
See also: an
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
about face, to do an
To reverse a decision or change one’s opinion. The term comes from the American military command to turn 180 degrees at attention, dating from the mid-nineteenth century, and by 1900 was being used figuratively. A more recent colloquial usage is to do a 180, but it has not yet reached cliché status.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer