Definition of Janus-faced in English:



  • 1Having two sharply contrasting aspects or characteristics.

    ‘the Janus-faced nature of American society’
    • ‘BAGHDAD - The Iraqi national psyche is a Janus-faced beast when it comes to belief.’
    • ‘Steward comes to function as a representative of Ruby's politically rational self-narrative, while Deacon continues to represent the ambivalent, Janus-faced boundary between the nation's inside and outside.’
    • ‘The Janus-faced grief we witness in this writing, then, and its despair-in-advance of deploying familiar consolations, is an inspiring precedent for negotiating "double sorrow" even now.’
    • ‘It is more or less reduced to Janus-faced etiquettes of the moral and grotesque body, placed by the author, as it seems, where most suitable.’
    • ‘Stone-throwing Palestinians in Nike trainers are today's version of the same Janus-faced phenomenon.’
    • ‘I would like to propose a term for the texts that voice this Janus-faced perspective on grief and for the wider cultural syndrome of which they were a part.’
    • ‘Most of his summer vacations, spent in St Florian and, latterly, in Steyr, were devoted to intensive work on his symphonies, beginning with the Janus-faced Symphony no.’
    • ‘This Janus-faced image of the Columbia represents both a vexing conundrum for Pacific Northwesterners and a battleground over what the river means to the human community.’
    • ‘Every day they confront a Janus-faced social discourse on female gender, which wedges them between two conflicting ideals of femininity.’
    • ‘It is thus a Janus-faced entity, a paradoxical phenomenon that reflects the paradoxical nature of the human condition.’
    • ‘In this sense, grammar is part of a Janus-faced psychological and neurological process: each person learns and uses a private system which blends into a social consensus.’
    • ‘Sade is Beauvoir's Janus-faced ally.’
    • ‘And I suggest that citizenship education needs to start by confronting the Janus-faced nature of people's anger, and making the most of it.’
    • ‘Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why one of our biggest stars is such a Janus-faced mess of narcissism and self-loathing.’
    • ‘Indeed, the reform policies of Napoleon reflected the regime's Janus-faced character that combined subordination and exploitation, innovation and progress.’
    • ‘Various objects explore this confluence, a Janus-faced culture that is highlighted in portraits of Mehmed by the Venetian Gentile Bellini from 1480 and the Ottoman painter Sinan Bey.’
    • ‘It was a Janus-faced county, a place where people were "cultivated," a place of "wealthy families, educational and religious interests, and general enterprise."’
    • ‘A Janus-faced entity who, looking inward, sees himself as a self-contained unique whole, looking outward as a dependent part.’
    • ‘These reveal a Janus-faced director, working firmly in a tradition of Victorian hagiography, but clearly searching for contemporary relevance.’
    • ‘This demonstrates the Janus-faced quality of tradition: In the culture that produced the tradition, it is old, while in the culture that adopts it, it is brand-new.’
    1. 1.1Insincere or deceitful.
      ‘a Janus-faced politician’
      • ‘While the structures of democracy, capitalism, and defense basically reflected the value system of WASP America, culture presented itself in a Janus-faced manner.’
      • ‘Containment needs better friends than the Janus-faced House of Saud.’
      • ‘There are many manifestations of this Janus-faced condition.’
      • ‘Now, the Janus-faced posturing of post-Grimond Liberalism is no longer adequate.’
      • ‘Enter the Janus-faced alternative: the Liberal Conservative Socialist Democrats, the chameleon party equipped to satisfy simultaneously the aspirations of Colonel Blimp and Dave Spart.’
      • ‘He was the committee man selectively dealing out the Janus-faced news.’
      false, fake, hollow, artificial, feigned, pretended, put-on, exaggerated, overdone, lacking sincerity, not candid, not frank
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Suggestive of the Roman deity Janus.