Definition of save face in English:

save face

phrase

  • Avoid humiliation.

    ‘allowing the guerrillas to save face and disarm’
    • ‘It was a matter of saving face, not of saving games.’
    • ‘As Tongans themselves point out, Tonga is what anthropologists call a shame culture, where personal and family image counts for much and saving face is of paramount importance.’
    • ‘Reluctantly, they'll find a way of saving face while admitting that they're not quite up to where I want them to be.’
    • ‘That way, it would save face for me and avoid any further conflicts with Tinka and Victor.’
    • ‘The Foyle Assembly member said: ‘If this is about saving face, then people will be sceptical.’’
    • ‘As is typical with these sorts of arrangements, it only takes one slip to start an avalanche, coincidence always plays into the hands of the betrayed, and the most important thing above all is saving face.’
    • ‘It is clear that the way people react in the early stages of a breaking scandal will often mean the difference between saving face and losing all credibility.’
    • ‘The win yesterday was very much a case of two old professionals doing what they do best and saving face for the national team.’
    • ‘In tribally run district courts and within families, decisions that rule women's lives are a matter of obedience, convention and saving face.’
    • ‘One day an estranged celebrity couple is getting along; the next day it's an all-out war over custody, property or saving face.’