face to face
face to face
- meeting or seeing someone in person.
- close to and facing each other.
- in each other’s presence or sight.
The phrase is used to describe a physical meeting between two or more people, rather than communication over any electronic device or medium. It also implies direct contact, involving looking at each other and speaking.
- We need to have a face-to-face meeting in order to sort out this issue.
- I prefer to do business face-to-face rather than over the phone.
- We need to discuss this issue face-to-face.
- I haven’t seen him in a long time; let’s arrange for a face-to-face.
- Let’s meet up for coffee and have a face-to-face conversation about this.
- Two women have been gossiping face to face in the parking area for an hour.
The phrase “face to face” comes from the Latin phrase “coram facie,” which translates literally to “in front of the face.” The first record of face-to-face dating dates back to the 1300s. Other terms similar to face-to-face that are constructed in the same way and have been used throughout the centuries include “in person,” “eyeball to eyeball,” “look to look,” “back-to-back,” and “side-to-side.” The phrase has since been adopted as a common idiomatic expression for physical communication or meeting. In modern times, it is used to imply a more personal level of communication and interaction.
If this idiom is used as a noun phrase or an adjective in front of a noun, it is written with hyphens, as in “face-to-face.”
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