Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “face”

face

noun uk   /feɪs/ us  

face noun (HEAD)

A1 [C] the front of the head, where the eyes, nose, and mouth are: She's got a long, thin face. She had a puzzled expression on her face.The head and face A1 [C] an expression on someone's face: I was greeted by smiling faces. He had a face like thunder (= he looked very angry).The head and face make/pull a face B1 to make a strange expression with your face, usually to show that you do not like someone or something: "This tastes horrible," said Tom, pulling a face at his glass. I was pulling silly faces to make the baby laugh.Grimacing and frowning

face noun (FRONT)

[C] the front or surface of an object: the north face of a mountain the west face of the buildingSurfaces of objectsEdges and extremities of objects [C] the front of a clock or watch that has the numbers or marks that show what time it is: a watch face with Roman numeralsWatches and clocks

face noun (RESPECT)

C2 [U] the respect and honour of others: He thinks he would lose face if he admitted the mistake. She tried to save face by inventing a story about being overseas at the time.Showing respect and admiration

face

verb uk   /feɪs/ us  

face verb (DEAL WITH)

B2 [T] If you face a problem, or a problem faces you, you have to deal with it: This is one of the many problems faced by working mothers. Passengers could face long delays. You're faced with a very difficult choice there.Dealing with things or peopleActing and actsCoping and not copingTolerating and enduring B2 [T] to accept that something unpleasant is true and start to deal with the situation: I think Phil has to face the fact that she no longer loves him. We have to face facts here - we simply don't have enough money. He's dying but he refuses to face the truth.Dealing with things or peopleActing and actsCoping and not copingTolerating and enduring can't face sth/doing sth B2 to not want to do or deal with something unpleasant: I can't face walking up all those steps again. I know I've got to tell her but I can't face it.Afraid C2 [T] to deal with someone when the situation between you is difficult: She half hoped he would not find her, though she knew she would have to face him sooner or later.

face verb (TURN TOWARDS)

B1 [I usually + adv/prep, T] to turn or be turned towards something physically; to be opposite something: The terrace faces towards the sea/faces south. Their houses face each other across the street.Direction of motionPoints of the compass

face verb (BUILDING)

[T] If you face a building, you put an extra layer in front of what is already there: The house was built of wood but faced in/with brick.Covering and adding layersConstruction work and workers
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of face from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of face?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “face” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bitter

a type of dark brown beer with a bitter taste

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More