Lose face


      • suffer a loss of respect or dignity
        Describing the negative impact of a person's actions or behavior on their reputation or status in a social or professional setting

      • fail to maintain one's reputation
        Referring to a person's inability to uphold their image or standing in the eyes of others, often due to a humiliating or embarrassing situation

    Examples of Lose face

    • Sally accidentally spilled red wine all over her white dress at the formal dinner, leaving her feeling embarrassed and ashamed. She feared that she would lose face in front of her colleagues and clients.

      To "lose face" means to lose respect, embarrassment or status in front of others.

    • The CEO of the company made a public announcement that had to be retracted due to inaccurate information. This incident left him feeling embarrassed and could potentially lose face in the eyes of his shareholders and the public.

      "Losing face" can be a result of making a mistake or doing something that leaves a person feeling humiliated or embarrassed.

    • The athlete, who was once praised as a superstar, was caught using performance-enhancing drugs, which led to not only the stripping of his titles but also his loss of face in the sports community.

      "Losing face" can also occur due to a violation of societal norms or rules, such as breaking the law or engaging in immoral behavior.

    • After the comedian's joke fell flat during a high-profile comedy show, he didn't know how to recover and ended up making more jokes that didn't land well, causing him to lose face in front of an audience that was once laughing and enjoying his act.

      "Losing face" can happen in various social situations, such as in front of a live audience or in a business setting, due to mistakes, mishaps, or miscommunications.

    • Sally was so embarrassed during the presentation that she lost face in front of her colleagues.

      To "lose face" means to lose prestige, dignity, or respect in the eyes of others. In this example, Sally's error or embarrassment caused her to lose her professional reputation in front of her colleagues.

    • The CEO admitted to making a mistake that cost the company millions of dollars. His reputation took a hit, and many say he lost face with investors.

      Here, "lose face" is used to describe the negative impact that the CEO's mistake had on his credibility and authority. This phrase is often used to describe a person's loss of credibility or trustworthiness in a social or professional setting.

    • Mary knew that if she confessed the truth, she would lose face in front of her friends.

      In this example, "lose face" is used to describe the potential loss of self-respect or pride that comes with admitting wrongdoing or making a mistake. It's often used in situations where a person may prefer to save face by concealing the truth or avoiding admitting a mistake, even if it means sacrificing credibility or trustworthiness in the long run.

    • The politician's refusal to admit the truth ultimately caused him to lose face.

      Here, "lose face" is used to describe the negative consequences that can result from a lack of integrity or transparency. In this example, the politician's refusal to face the truth and take responsibility for his actions ultimately damaged his reputation and caused him to lose respect and credibility with the public.


    The idiom "lose face" is used to convey the idea of experiencing a decline in one's reputation or dignity. It can be used to caution against actions that may lead to a loss of respect, or to describe the consequences of failing to maintain one's image in a particular situation.

    In social or professional contexts, the phrase serves as a warning about the potential negative impact of one's behavior on their standing among others. It highlights the importance of maintaining a good reputation and the potential repercussions of damaging one's image.

    Overall, "lose face" is a vivid expression that captures the idea of suffering a loss of respect or dignity, and it is often used to emphasize the significance of preserving one's reputation in various social and professional settings.

    Origin of "Lose face"

    The idiom "lose face" is believed to have originated from Chinese culture, where "face" is a concept that represents a person's reputation, dignity, and social standing. In Chinese society, preserving "face" is highly valued, and losing it can have significant consequences.

    The phrase has been adopted into English and is commonly used to convey the same idea of experiencing a decline in reputation or dignity. It has become a widely recognized idiom in the English language, reflecting the universal importance of maintaining one's image and standing in social interactions and professional environments. Examples of this idiom can be found in literature, media, and everyday conversations, illustrating its enduring relevance and usage.