(also chiefly North American about-face)
- 1(Chiefly in military contexts) a turn made so as to face the opposite direction: he did an about-turn and marched out of the tentMore example sentences
- Brakes squealed as the few cars that happened to travel down that road screeched to a stop and promptly did an about-face, quickly driving in the opposite direction.
- Then she did an about-face, marched right back into the guy's office, and declared, ‘I have one more thing to say to you: I am your customer.’
- Their chests swelled with pride as they saluted the general, did an about-face, and marched away exuberantly.
- 1.1A complete change of opinion or policy: the government made an about-turn over the billMore example sentences
- In Germany, the food scare has sparked an about-face on agricultural policy.
- The party's recent troubles following the policy about-face on the reform of the grassroots financial institutions illustrates the problem.
- At this crucial period of their lives they were surrounded by people who, in very many cases, undertook a complete about-turn with regard to their social and political views.
verb[no object] Back to top
- Turn so as to face the opposite direction: suddenly he about-turned and saluted againMore example sentences
- But she must have said something terribly outrageous, indicated in some obvious way that things weren't altogether normal, because he immediately about-faced and ran in the opposite direction.
- Hugh about-turned, and headed in the opposite direction to be met with a similar fate.
- Suddenly she about-faced and grappled him into the undergrowth.
exclamation(about turn!) Back to top
- A military command to make an about-turn.More example sentences
- Finally, looking back he said, ‘O soldiers of Kalinjar, right about turn!’
late 19th century (originally as a military command): shortening of right about turn.