To fly in the face of
Face Face (f[=a]s), n. [F., from L. facies form, shape, face, perh. from facere to make (see {Fact}); or perh. orig. meaning appearance, and from a root meaning to shine, and akin to E. fancy. Cf. {Facetious}.] 1. The exterior form or appearance of anything; that part which presents itself to the view; especially, the front or upper part or surface; that which particularly offers itself to the view of a spectator. [1913 Webster]

A mist . . . watered the whole face of the ground. --Gen. ii. 6. [1913 Webster]

Lake Leman wooes me with its crystal face. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

2. That part of a body, having several sides, which may be seen from one point, or which is presented toward a certain direction; one of the bounding planes of a solid; as, a cube has six faces. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mach.) (a) The principal dressed surface of a plate, disk, or pulley; the principal flat surface of a part or object. (b) That part of the acting surface of a cog in a cog wheel, which projects beyond the pitch line. (c) The width of a pulley, or the length of a cog from end to end; as, a pulley or cog wheel of ten inches face. [1913 Webster]

4. (Print.) (a) The upper surface, or the character upon the surface, of a type, plate, etc. (b) The style or cut of a type or font of type. [1913 Webster]

5. Outside appearance; surface show; look; external aspect, whether natural, assumed, or acquired. [1913 Webster]

To set a face upon their own malignant design. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

This would produce a new face of things in Europe. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

We wear a face of joy, because We have been glad of yore. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

6. That part of the head, esp. of man, in which the eyes, cheeks, nose, and mouth are situated; visage; countenance. [1913 Webster]

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. --Gen. iii. 19. [1913 Webster]

7. Cast of features; expression of countenance; look; air; appearance. [1913 Webster]

We set the best faceon it we could. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

8. (Astrol.) Ten degrees in extent of a sign of the zodiac. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

9. Maintenance of the countenance free from abashment or confusion; confidence; boldness; shamelessness; effrontery. [1913 Webster]

This is the man that has the face to charge others with false citations. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

10. Presence; sight; front; as in the phrases, before the face of, in the immediate presence of; in the face of, before, in, or against the front of; as, to fly in the face of danger; to the face of, directly to; from the face of, from the presence of. [1913 Webster]

11. Mode of regard, whether favorable or unfavorable; favor or anger; mostly in Scriptural phrases. [1913 Webster]

The Lord make his face to shine upon thee. --Num. vi. 25. [1913 Webster]

My face [favor] will I turn also from them. --Ezek. vii. 22. [1913 Webster]

12. (Mining) The end or wall of the tunnel, drift, or excavation, at which work is progressing or was last done. [1913 Webster]

13. (Com.) The exact amount expressed on a bill, note, bond, or other mercantile paper, without any addition for interest or reduction for discount; most commonly called {face value}. --McElrath. [1913 Webster]

Note: Face is used either adjectively or as part of a compound; as, face guard or face-guard; face cloth; face plan or face-plan; face hammer. [1913 Webster]

{Face ague} (Med.), a form of neuralgia, characterized by acute lancinating pains returning at intervals, and by twinges in certain parts of the face, producing convulsive twitches in the corresponding muscles; -- called also {tic douloureux}.

{Face card}, one of a pack of playing cards on which a human face is represented; the king, queen, or jack.

{Face cloth}, a cloth laid over the face of a corpse.

{Face guard}, a mask with windows for the eyes, worn by workman exposed to great heat, or to flying particles of metal, stone, etc., as in glass works, foundries, etc.

{Face hammer}, a hammer having a flat face.

{Face joint} (Arch.), a joint in the face of a wall or other structure.

{Face mite} (Zo["o]ll.), a small, elongated mite ({Demdex folliculorum}), parasitic in the hair follicles of the face.

{Face mold}, the templet or pattern by which carpenters, etc., outline the forms which are to be cut out from boards, sheet metal, etc.

{Face plate}. (a) (Turning) A plate attached to the spindle of a lathe, to which the work to be turned may be attached. (b) A covering plate for an object, to receive wear or shock. (c) A true plane for testing a dressed surface. --Knight.

{Face wheel}. (Mach.) (a) A crown wheel. (b) A wheel whose disk face is adapted for grinding and polishing; a lap.

{face value} the value written on a financial instrument; same as {face[13]}. Also used metaphorically, to mean apparent value; as, to take his statemnet at its face value. [1913 Webster]

{Cylinder face} (Steam Engine), the flat part of a steam cylinder on which a slide valve moves.

{Face of an anvil}, its flat upper surface.

{Face of a bastion} (Fort.), the part between the salient and the shoulder angle.

{Face of coal} (Mining), the principal cleavage plane, at right angles to the stratification.

{Face of a gun}, the surface of metal at the muzzle.

{Face of a place} (Fort.), the front comprehended between the flanked angles of two neighboring bastions. --Wilhelm.

{Face of a square} (Mil.), one of the sides of a battalion when formed in a square.

{Face of a} {watch, clock, compass, card etc.}, the dial or graduated surface on which a pointer indicates the time of day, point of the compass, etc.

{Face to face}. (a) In the presence of each other; as, to bring the accuser and the accused face to face. (b) Without the interposition of any body or substance. ``Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.'' 1 --Cor. xiii. 12. (c) With the faces or finished surfaces turned inward or toward one another; vis [`a] vis; -- opposed to {back to back}.

{To fly in the face of}, to defy; to brave; to withstand.

{To make a face}, to distort the countenance; to make a grimace; -- often expressing dislike, annoyance, or disagreement. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To fly in the face of — Fly Fly (fl[imac]), v. i. [imp. {Flew} (fl[=u]); p. p. {Flown} (fl[=o]n); p. pr. & vb. n. {Flying}.] [OE. fleen, fleen, fleyen, flegen, AS. fle[ o]gan; akin to D. vliegen, OHG. fliogan, G. fliegen, Icel. flj[=u]ga, Sw. flyga, Dan. flyve, Goth. us …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fly in the face of — or[fly in the teeth of] {v. phr.} To ignore; go against; show disrespect or disregard for. * /You can t fly in the face of good business rules and expect to he successful./ * /Floyd s friends tried to help him, but he flew in the teeth of their… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • fly in the face of — or[fly in the teeth of] {v. phr.} To ignore; go against; show disrespect or disregard for. * /You can t fly in the face of good business rules and expect to he successful./ * /Floyd s friends tried to help him, but he flew in the teeth of their… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • fly in the face of — or fly in the teeth of phrasal to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • in the face of — {adv. phr.} 1. When met or in the presence of; threatened by. * /He was brave in the face of danger./ * /She began to cry in the face of failure./ 2. Although opposed by; without being stopped by. * /Talking continued even in the face of the… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • in the face of — {adv. phr.} 1. When met or in the presence of; threatened by. * /He was brave in the face of danger./ * /She began to cry in the face of failure./ 2. Although opposed by; without being stopped by. * /Talking continued even in the face of the… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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