Take at face value

The term take at face value dates to the 1850s, and is a well-known idiom. We will examine the meaning of the phrase take at face value, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To take at face value means to accept something as it appears, without looking for a hidden meaning or an ulterior motive. To take what someone says at face value means you accept the truthfulness and sincerity of the sentiment. Related phrases are takes at face value, took at face value, taken at face value, taking at face value. Originally, face value was a financial term that meant the denomination or value printed on a stock, bond, life insurance policy, legal tender or stamp. Face value is still used as a financial term.


Say you take at face value the claim that the policy change is about reducing the number of abortions. (The Washington Post)

Justice Bellew said he could only take at face value claims the foreperson was inappropriately exerting her authority but said the role of a foreperson was essentially administrative and that all jury members were equal. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Though it still may be possible to take at face value the claim that Trump had no knowledge of the meeting, the testimony confirms Trump Jr. willfully sought to gather information harmful to Clinton. (Rolling Stone Magazine)

The special task force of Calcutta police arrested two men late on Monday with fake 2,000 rupee notes with a face value of Rs 10 lakh. (The Telegraph)