Learn useful Face idioms in English with meaning and examples.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 Face Idioms
- 2 Eye Idioms | Face Idioms
- 2.1 A Sight for Sore Eyes
- 2.2 All Eyes And Ears
- 2.3 All Eyes Are On
- 2.4 An Eye for an Eye
- 2.5 Catch Someone’s Eye
- 2.6 Cry Your Eyes Out
- 2.7 Keep an Eye On
- 2.8 Keep an eye peeled
- 2.9 See Eye to Eye
- 2.10 See Something/somebody Out of the Corner of Your Eye
- 2.11 To be the apple of someone’s eye
- 2.12 Turn a Blind Eye (to)
- 2.13 Wandering Eye
- 2.14 Black Eye
- 2.15 Blue Eyed Boy
- 2.16 Baby Blues
- 3 Mouth Idioms | Face Idioms
- 4 Ear Idioms | Face Idioms
- 5 Teeth Idioms | Face Idioms
- 6 Nose Idioms | Face Idioms
- 6.1 Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face
- 6.2 Have Your Nose in the Air
- 6.3 It’s No Skin off My (Your) Nose (Back)
- 6.4 Keep Your Nose Clean
- 6.5 Keeping One’s Nose to the Grindstone
- 6.6 On the Nose
- 6.7 Powder One’s Nose
- 6.8 Right Under (One’s) Nose
- 6.9 Rub Someone’s Nose in (Something)
- 6.10 Stick Your Nose into Something
- 6.11 Have a Nose for (Something)
- 7 Chin Idioms | Face Idioms
- 8 Lip Idioms
Put the Best Face On (Something)
- Meaning: Emphasize the positive aspects of a bad situation
- Example: The mayor tried to put the best face on the loss of the Olympic Games, pointing out that houses would not have to be demolished.
Rub (Something) in Someone’s Face
- Meaning: Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake
- Example: I really screwed up my speech, and Caroline keeps rubbing the disaster in my face.
Until You’re Blue in the Face
- Meaning: For a long time with no results
- Example: I can talk with John until I’m blue in the face, but he still doesn’t understand the procedure.
Eye Idioms | Face Idioms
A Sight for Sore Eyes
- Meeting: Someone that you’re pleased to see
- Example: I’m so glad to see you! You’re a sight for sore eyes.
All Eyes And Ears
- Meening: Attentive
- Example: The team was all eyes and ears as the coach explained the challenges ahead.
All Eyes Are On
- Meaning: Watching alertly or attentively.
- Example: After the candidate’s strong performance in the first debate, all eyes are on him to see if he will make a mistake this time.
An Eye for an Eye
- Meeting: Justice in which reparation or vengeance exactly matches the harm caused to the victim
- Example: Negotiations broke down, and the war devolved into an endless eye-for-an-eye cycle of revenge.
Catch Someone’s Eye
- Meeting: Attract someone’s attention
- Example: I was reading Internet classified ads, and an ad for an old Ford Mustang caught my eye.
Cry Your Eyes Out
- Meeting: Cry hard for a very long time
- Example: After my boyfriend broke up with me, I cried my eyes out.
Keep an Eye On
- Meeting: To keep an eye on something or someone is to watch it periodically, to keep it under surveillance.
- Example: I’m leaving my son with you for the day. Please keep an eye on him.
Keep an eye peeled
- Meeting: Be observant; watch out for something
- Example: If you go to the mall, keep an eye peeled for Anita-”she said she’s be there.
See Eye to Eye
- Meeting: To concur, agree
- Example: I don’t see eye to eye with Frances on the workflow, but she’s the boss.
See Something/somebody Out of the Corner of Your Eye
- Meeting: Use peripheral vision
- Example: How did you know I was here? You didn’t even look up! — I saw you out of the corner of my eye.
To be the apple of someone’s eye
- Meeting: To be loved and treasured by someone
- Example: You are the apple of my eye!
Turn a Blind Eye (to)
- Meeting: Choose not to notice something
- Example: My husband always supports me and is willing to turn a blind eye to my faults.
- Meeting: A tendency to look at and desire women or men other than one’s committed romantic partner
- Example: I know Sean has a wandering eye, but I’m sure he’s never cheated on me.
- Meeting: A mark of shame
- Example: By overcharging customers, you not only gave the company a black eye – you broke the law.
Blue Eyed Boy
- Meeting: A person who is a favorite of those in authority; someone whose mistakes are forgiven.
- Example: Steve is the supervisor’s blue-eyed boy. He doesn’t really do that much work, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
- Meaning: Blue eyes.
- Example: I know Jason is bad for me, but when I get a look at his baby blues I can’t resist him.
Mouth Idioms | Face Idioms
All Mouth And No Trousers
- Meaning: Superficial, engaging in empty, boastful talk, but not of real substance.
- Example: He’s all mouth and no trousers. If we put up a united front against him, he’ll crumble.
Bad Taste In One’s Mouth
- Meaning: Unease, a feeling that something unspecified is wrong in a situation
- Example: The agreement is OK, I guess, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth – I’m afraid that it will bring us real problems in the future.
Butter Wouldn’t Melt in (Someone’s) Mouth
- Meaning: This person is cool in manner, prim and proper
- Example: Jones has exceptional presence of mind on the soccer field. He always looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
By/through Word of Mouth
- Meaning: Via personal communications rather than written media
- Example: I heard about this new K-pop singer through word of mouth – I haven’t even seen an ad on Facebook.
Put Your Foot In Your Mouth
- Meaning: Say something that you immediately regret
- Example: I really put my foot in my mouth when I asked about your divorce so soon after It happened. I’m so sorry.
Run off at the Mouth
- Meaning: Talk a lot about unimportant things, talk incoherently
- Example: I like Kevin, but he’s always running off at the mouth during meetings. We can never get anything done.
Ear Idioms | Face Idioms
Face Idioms: Idioms with Ears
- Meaning: Listening willingly, waiting for an explanation
- Example: Why did you delete the file I was working on? I’m all ears.
Give Someone an Earful
- Meaning: angrily express an opinion to someone
- Example: Wow, my mom gave me an earful when I said I’d be home at 1 a.m. Guess I’ll be going home early!
I’m All Ears
- Meaning: You have my attention, so you should talk
- Example: I’d love to hear about your trip to Indonesia. I’m all ears!
Lend an Ear
- Meaning: Listen
- Example: Lend an ear, and I’ll tell you what people said at the meeting yesterday.
Play It by Ear
- Meaning: To respond to circumstances instead of having a fixed plan
- Example: I don’t know whether tickets will be available, but I think we should go to the airport and play it by ear.
That’s Music to My Ears
- Meaning: I am very happy to hear this.
- Example: When the boss said I’d be getting a raise next year, that was music to my ears!
The Walls Have Ears
- Meaning: We may be overheard; be careful what you say
- Example: Try to speak quietly—the walls have ears around here.
Wet Behind the Ears
- Meaning: Inexperienced, immature, new to something
- Example: Shawna is smart, but she’s still wet behind the ears as a programmer. She’ll need time to master the system.
Teeth Idioms | Face Idioms
By the Skin of One’s Teeth
- Meaning: Barely escaping disaster
- Example: We got home by the skin of our teeth – we were on the last plane out before the airport was closed.
Cut Your Teeth on Something
- Meaning: To learn basic skills in a field
- Example: I cut my teeth on carpentry when I was in school and working summers.
Grind One’s Teeth
- Meaning: Be very annoyed or angry about something without being able to say anything about it.
- Example: Jason spent half the meeting claiming credit for work that I did. I was sitting there grinding my teeth, but with the chairman there I couldn’t tell him off.
Armed to the Teeth
- Meaning: Carrying many weapons
- Example: The robber is armed to the teeth, so the police have surrounded the building but aren’t trying to move in.
Nose Idioms | Face Idioms
Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face
- Meaning: To act in a proud way that ultimately damages your own cause
- Example: I realize you’re mad that Lynn was assigned to take over the project, but don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. We still need you, and it’ll be better if you cooperate.
Have Your Nose in the Air
- Meaning: Have a snobbish or disdainful attitude
- Example: That girl has had her nose in their air ever since she moved here. She doesn’t seem interested in making friends with any of us.
It’s No Skin off My (Your) Nose (Back)
- Meaning: The outcome will not affect me personally.
- Example: I don’t really care if Jean’s project fails. I’m in a different department, so it’s no skin off my nose.
Keep Your Nose Clean
- Meaning: Avoid trouble or situations that compromise one’s honesty
- Example: There are all kinds of scams in real estate, but it’s better to keep your nose clean if you want to advance.
Face Idioms: Idioms with Nose
Keeping One’s Nose to the Grindstone
- Meaning: Working hard on something repetitive or tedious
- Example: In my son’s first semester he went to parties and got bad grades, but now he’s keeping his nose to the grindstone.
On the Nose
- Meaning: Precisely, at an exact time
- Example: The presentation will begin at 8 on the nose. Don’t miss it.
Powder One’s Nose
- Meaning: To use the restroom (lavatory). This is used by women.
- Example: Order me another drink-”I’ll be right back. I just have to powder my nose.
Right Under (One’s) Nose
- Meaning: In an obvious location, yet overlooked
- Example: I looked all over for my keys, and they were right under my nose, in the center of my desk.
Rub Someone’s Nose in (Something)
- Meaning: Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake
- Example: I really screwed up my speech, and Caroline keeps rubbing my nose in the disaster.
Stick Your Nose into Something
- Meaning: Intrude into something that is not your affair
- Example: My financial discussions with my sister are private, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t stick your nose into something that really doesn’t concern you.
Have a Nose for (Something)
- Meaning: To have natural ability at something, a talent for finding something
- Example: I enjoy going to thrift shops with Shawna—she has a nose for bargains.
Chin Idioms | Face Idioms
Chin Up; Keep Your Chin Up
- Meaning: Cheer up; try to be cheerful and strong
- Example: It’s too bad you didn’t get the job, but keep your chin up – another one will come along.
Take It on the Chin
- Meaning: Be attacked; suffer an attack
- Example: Week after week the coach says we can win, but in every game we take it on the chin.
Give Lip Service to
- Meaning: Talk about supporting something without taking any concrete action
- Example: Every year the president pays lip service to the idea of a balanced budget, but he never takes steps to cut spending.
Keep a Stiff Upper Lip
- Meaning: Control one’s emotions; not give in to fear or grief
- Example: I know flying is scary for you, but keep a stiff upper lip and it will be all right.
- Meaning: Secretive, unwilling to explain something
- Example: The president remained tight-lipped about why he decided to fire his chief economic adviser.
Zip One’s Lip
- Meaning: Be quiet
- Example: OK, I’ll tell you the secret about Cynthia, but zip your lip about it!