A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [uh-bout feys]
    • /əˈbaʊt feɪs/
    • /əˈbaʊt feɪs/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [uh-bout feys]
    • /əˈbaʊt feɪs/

Definitions of about-face word

  • countable noun about-face An about-face is a complete change of attitude or opinion. 3
  • noun about-face a sharp turn to the opposite direction, esp. in response to a military command 3
  • noun about-face a sharp change in attitude or opinion 3
  • intransitive verb about-face to turn or face in the opposite direction 3
  • noun about-face Military. a turn of 180° from the position of attention. 1
  • noun about-face a complete, sudden change in position, direction, principle, attitude, etc.: They've done an about-face in their foreign policy. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of about-face

First appearance:

before 1860
One of the 29% newest English words
An Americanism dating back to 1860-65

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for About-face


about-face popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 32% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
According to our data most of word are more popular. This word is almost not used. It has a much more popular synonym.

Synonyms for about-face

noun about-face

  • u-turn — a U -shaped turn made by a vehicle so as to head in the opposite direction from its original course.
  • turnaround — the total time consumed in the round trip of a ship, aircraft, vehicle, etc.
  • turnabout — the act of turning in a different or opposite direction.
  • reversal — an act or instance of reversing.
  • reverse — opposite or contrary in position, direction, order, or character: an impression reverse to what was intended; in reverse sequence.

Antonyms for about-face

noun about-face

  • stagnation — the state or condition of stagnating, or having stopped, as by ceasing to run or flow: Meteorologists forecast ozone and air stagnation.

See also

Matching words

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