Synonyms for save face

  • preserve one's honor
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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SAVE FACE

But once the matter is brought to their “official attention,” they have to take action in order to “save face.”

Just as the Chinese will do anything to "save face" so the Briton will do anything not to "lose face."

Her skipper offered me a tow, but I was anxious to save face as much as possible by returning on my own, and so declined.

WORD ORIGIN

late 13c., "front of the head," from Old French face (12c.) "face, countenance, look, appearance," from Vulgar Latin *facia (cf. Italian faccia), from Latin facies "appearance, form, figure," and secondarily "visage, countenance;" probably related to facere "to make" (see factitious).

Replaced Old English andwlita (from root of wlitan "to see, look") and ansyn, the usual word (from the root of seon "see"). In French, the use of face for "front of the head" was given up 17c. and replaced by visage (older vis), from Latin visus "sight." To lose face (or save face), 1876, is said to be from Chinese tu lien. Face value was originally (1878) of bank notes, postage stamps, etc.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.