What Does In Your Face Mean?

In Your Face Meaning

Definition: Look at how successful I am and how unsuccessful you are!

People use this expression to gloat about an accomplishment at the expense of another party. It usually is confrontational and aggressive, but one could also say it in a joking manner.

Origin of In Your Face!

This expression first appeared in the latter half of the 1900s. It may have originated around the 1970s in the sport of basketball, in which players would sometimes invade the personal space of players on the opposing team and shout in your face.

Many people still use this expression to show dominance in a sport. However, one could also use it in other situations. For example, if one person had taunted another that he or she wouldn’t succeed at a test, and the taunted person did succeed, then the taunted person could use this expression. In this case it would mean Ha! I did it even though you said I couldn’t.

Examples of In Your Face!

in your face definition In this conversation, a mother and daughter are talking about a college that accepted the daughter.

Daughter: I finally got a letter back from that university that I really hope accepts me.

Mother: Well, don’t get your hopes up, dear. That is a very prestigious university, and you didn’t study as much as you should have. Open the letter and get it over with. Try not to be too disappointed.

Daughter: Oh! They accepted me! I did it! In your face, Mom!

Mother: Humph.

define in your face In this example, two coworkers are upset because of a third coworker, Stan, and his negative comments.

Dave: Stan told me that you were going to be fired during that meeting with your boss. Were you fired?

Ben: Nope! In fact, I got a raise! In your face, Stan!

Dave: Stan went home for the day. He can’t hear you.

Ben: Oh, then I’ll tell him tomorrow.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article questioning the importance of statues and whether or not they are offensive.

  • You have sports franchises with logos depicting the same humans in an offensive, disrespecting cartoonish way in our present time and no one seems to care. We have in-your-face racism on a daily basis, homelessness, hunger, etc. The list goes on and on. –New York Daily News

This article is about a politician’s wife who is very public about which brands she likes.

  • But her in-your-face hashtags were in keeping with a consumer culture that has grown increasingly assertive in declaring corporate allegiances. –LA Times


People use this phrase to mock someone who lost, or someone who doubted them and was wrong.

  • In your face means Ha! I did it. I was right and you were wrong!