fly in the face of


Philippines - Filipino & English
Hello Everyone,

May I have your comments on how the idiom mentioned in the thread title was used in the sentence below, which appeared in an English language newspaper.

"The deal flew in the face of all skeptics who felt nothing tangible would come out of the conference."

The Free Dictionarysays "fly in the face of" means "to be the opposite of what is usual or accepted." Merriam Websters says:to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of.

I take those definitions to mean that "fly in the face" applies to a notion, a convention, or an idea. Or does it also apply to animate objects such as skeptics, hecklers or naysayers?

Thank you.
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think it's much more common to hear it in conjunction with an opinion, a tradition, or a value. This construction is a little odd, but I think the intention is to communicate that it flew in the face of the skeptics' opinions, not in the actual faces of the skeptics. I can see how it could be read literally, though, given the way the sentence is constructed.


    Senior Member
    USA- English
    "fly in the face of" means that it goes completely against what is accepted by someone, in this case the skeptics because something "tangible" did come out of the conference. Hope that helps
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