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about-face

noun

  1. (reversion)  the act of pivoting 180 degrees, especially in a military formation
    Synonyms: about turn, about-turn [Britain]. Type of: reversion
  2. (change)  a major change in attitude, principle, or point of view
    Synonyms: about-turn [Britain], policy change, reversal, volte-face. Type of: change

verb

  1. (turn)  to turn, usually 180 degrees
    Synonyms: about-turn [Britain], aboutface. Type of: turn
  2. (rethink)  to change one's mind and assume the opposite viewpoint
    Synonyms: about-turn [Britain], aboutface. Type of: rethink

Etymology summary

shortening of right-about face
(Source: Oxford Dictionary)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

about-face [United States] | about-turn [British]

[especially US] Same as "about-turn" | to perform an about-turn (9 of 394 words, 2 definitions, 8 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/about-face 1

Wikipedia:

About Face [disambiguation]

may refer to: About-face, a drill command in which a unit or soldier makes a 180-degree turn | About Face (film), a 1952 film starring Gordon MacRae and Eddie Bracken | About Face (2008 film), a Canadian film starring Hugh Dillon | About Face, a 1991... (43 of 269 words, 26 definitions)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/About Face

Merriam-Webster:

about-face | flip-flop [British] | turnabout [British] | U-turn [British] | about-turn [British, synonym, sense-specific] | reversal [synonym, sense-specific] | turnaround [synonym, sense-specific] | volte-face [synonym, sense-specific] | bait and switch [similar, sense-specific] | ...

a 180° turn to the right from the position of attention | a reversal of direction | a reversal of attitude, behavior, or point of view (24 of 102 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/about-face

Oxford Dictionary:

about-face | about face!

Syllabification: (a·bout-face) | (chiefly in military contexts) a turn made so as to face the opposite direction | a complete change of opinion or ... (22 of 98 words, 6 definitions, 2 usage examples)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/american english​/about--face

Random House Dictionary:

about face | about-face: about-faced [past tense] | about-face: about-facing [present participle] | about-face

(used as a military command to perform an about-face). | "about-face" : [military] a turn of 180° from the position of attention. | a complete, sudden ... (24 of 72 words, 6 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/about-face

Cambridge Dictionary:

about-turn [British] | about-face [United States]

a change of direction | a complete change of opinion or behaviour (11 of 56 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/about-turn

Wiktionary:

about-face | about-faces [plural] | about-faced [past tense] | about-facing [present participle] | about face [sense-specific]

[military] An abrupt turn to face the opposite direction. | A reversal in direction; reversal of attitude or opinion. | [intransitive] To turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction | To change opinion or attitude drastically. (34 of 56 words, 4 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/about-face

American Heritage Dictionary:

about-face | about-faced [past tense] | about-facing [present participle] | about-faces [3rd-person singular present]

The act of pivoting to face in the opposite direction from the original, especially in a military formation. | A military command to turn clockwise ... (24 of 43 words, 4 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/about-face

New World Dictionary:

about-face [United States] | about-faced [past tense] | about-facing [present participle]

a sharp turn to the opposite direction, especially in response to a military command | a sharp change in attitude or opinion | to turn or face in the ... (27 of 41 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/about-face

Macmillan British Dictionary:

about-face [countable, United States] | about-faces [plural]

an about-turn (2 of 28 words)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/about-face

Encarta Dictionary:

about-face | about-faces [plural] | about-faced [past tense] | about-facing [present participle] | about-turn [Military, British] | about-turned [military, British, past tense] | about-turning [military, British, present participle] | about-turns [military, British, 3rd-person singular present]

a sudden and complete reversal of a previous opinion or policy | a turn to face in the opposite direction | to turn to face in the opposite direction ... (27 of 62 words, 3 definitions)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861685115​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Oxford Dictionary:

about-face | about face!

First use: mid 19th century

Origin: shortening of right-about face

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/american english​/about--face

Merriam-Webster:

about-face

First use: 1861

Origin: the imperative phrase about face

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/about-face

Audio references

Macmillan American Dictionary:

about-face [countable] | about-faces [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "about-face"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/about-face

Macmillan British Dictionary:

about-face [countable, United States] | about-faces [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "about-face"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/about-face

the Free Dictionary:

about-face

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "about-face"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "about-face"

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/about-face

Google Dictionary:

about-face | about-faces [plural] | about-faced [past tense] | about-facing [present participle]

Audio: English pronunciation of "about-face"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=about-face

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

about-face

Audio: North American pronunciation of "about-face"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=about 01 word=about-face

YourDictionary Audio:

about-face

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "about-face" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/about-face

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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