Definition of About-face

1. Noun. Act of pivoting 180 degrees, especially in a military formation.

Exact synonyms: About Turn
Generic synonyms: Reversal, Reverse, Reversion, Turnabout, Turnaround

2. Verb. Turn, usually 180 degrees.
Generic synonyms: Turn

3. Noun. A major change in attitude or principle or point of view. "An about-face on foreign policy"
Exact synonyms: Policy Change, Reversal, Volte-face
Generic synonyms: Change
Specialized synonyms: Undoing

4. Verb. Change one's mind and assume the opposite viewpoint.
Generic synonyms: Rethink

Definition of About-face

1. Noun. (context: military) An abrupt turn to face the opposite direction. ¹

2. Noun. A reversal in direction; reversal of attitude or opinion. ¹

3. Verb. (intransitive) To turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction; ¹

4. Verb. To change opinion or attitude drastically. ¹

¹ Source:

Lexicographical Neighbors of About-face

abound in
abound with
about-face (current term)
about face
about faces
about ship
about shipped
about shipping
about ships
about sledge

Literary usage of About-face

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Civil War in Song and Story: 1860-1865 by Frank Moore (1889)
"He does not take a seat unless asked to, and when he has done hs business, salutes the officer, makes an " about face," and — leaves' " The fellow did not ..."

2. Life and Public Services of Charles Sumner by Charles Edwards Lester (1874)
"And so the five millions of Americans of African descent halted suddenly on their dreary and downward road, and with a " right about face," they began their ..."

3. Anecdotes, Poetry, and Incidents of the War: North and South : 1860-1865 by Frank Moore (1866)
"He does uot take a seat unless caked to, and when he has done his business, salutes the officer, makes an " about face," and — leaves. ..."

4. Camp Fires of the Confederacy: A Volume of Humorous Anecdotes, Reminiscences by Benjamin La Bree (1898)
"Right About Face. On one occasion a man from Georgia had been persistent in ... General Lee then gave the command, "Right about face; forward, march. ..."

5. A Budget of Paradoxes by Augustus De Morgan (1915)
"Ought the moon to be taught by the laws of space To turn half round without right-about-face? Our whimsey crotchets will manage it all; Deep! ..."

6. A Complete Handbook for the Hospital Corps of the U.S. Army and Navy and by Charles Field Mason (1912)
"Officers execute the about face as follows: At the command about, ... Enlisted men out of ranks may use the about face prescribed for officers. ..."

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