A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:

Face (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 758, 757

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 758, 757

Face. n.s. [face, French, from facies, Latin.]

  1. The visage.

    The children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses's face shone. Exod. xxxiv. 35.

    A man shall see faces, which, if you examine them part by part, you shall never find good; but take them together, are not uncomely. Bacon, Essay 44.

    From beauty still to beauty ranging,
    In ev'ry face I found a dart.
    Addison's Spectator.

  2. Countenance; cast of the features; look; air of the face.

    Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I!
    Who can't be silent, and who will not lye:
    To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace;
    And to be grave, exceeds all pow'r of face.
    Pope's Epistles.

  3. The surface of any thing.

    A mist watered the whole face of the ground. Gen. ii. 6.

  4. The front or forepart of any thing.

    The breadth of the face of the house, towards the East, was an hundred cubits. Ezek. xli. 14.

  5. State of affairs.

    He look'd, and saw the face of things quite chang'd,
    The brazen throat of war had ceas'd to roar;
    All now was turn'd to jollity and game,
    To luxury and riot, feast and dances.
    Milton's Par. Lost.

    This would produce a new face of things in Europe. Addis.

  6. Appearance; resemblance.

    Keep still your former face, and mix again
    With these lost spirits; run all their mazes with 'em;
    For such are treasons.
    Ben. Johnson.

    At the first shock, with blood and powder stain'd,
    Nor heav'n, nor sea, their former face retain'd;
    Fury and art produce effects so strange,
    They trouble nature, and her visage change.
    Waller.

    His dialogue has so much the face of probability, that some have mistaken it for a real conference. Baker.

  7. Presence; sight.

    Ye shall give her unto Eleazar, and one shall slay her before his face. Numb. xix. 3.

    Jove cannot fear; then tell me to my face,
    That I of all the gods am least in grace.
    Dryden's Iliad.

  8. Confidence; boldness.

                    Thinking, by this face,
    To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
    But 'tis not so.
    Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar.

    How many things are there which a man cannot, with any face or comliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them: a man cannot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg. Bacon, Essay 28.

    You'll find the thing will not be done
    With ignorance and face alone.
    Hudibras, p. ii.

    You, says the judge to the wolf, have the face to challenge that which you never lost; and you, says he to the fox, have the confidence to deny that which you have certainly stolen. L'Estrange, Fable 415.

    This is the man that has the face to charge others with false citations. Tillotson, Preface.

  9. Distortion of the face.

                                    Shame itself!
    Why do you make such faces?
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Baker, Thomas (10) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Exodus (25) · The Bible - Ezekiel (12) · The Bible - Genesis (48) · Jonson, Ben (70) · Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (42) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · The Bible - Numbers (12) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Spectator (140) · Tillotson, John (68) · Waller, Edmund (63)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Discuss this entry in the forums.

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Face (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 26, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=4069.


  1. The second Bacon quote (“How many things are there…”) comes from his 27th essay (“Of Friendship”), not the 28th (“Of Expense”).

  2. Brandi on May 1st, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Leave a Reply


Disclaimer:
johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.