Is ‘face falls’ an idiom?

Harry put the plates of egg and bacon on the table, which was
difficult as there wasn’t much room. Dudley, meanwhile, was counting
his presents. His face fell.

“Thirty-six,” he said, looking up at his mother and father. “That’s two less than last year.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.

It seems like the highlighted part mean he disappointed. But I don’t find any account for it in dictionaries. What does it exactly mean?


You’ve more or less got it right. “His face fell” is a common idiom which means “His face changed to a look of disappointment”.

For dictionary definitions try Oxford:

[no object] (of someone’s face) show dismay or disappointment by
appearing to droop: her face fell as she thought about her life with

or Merriam-Webster:

6 e : to assume a look of shame,
disappointment, or dejection his face fell

Source : Link , Question Author : Listenever , Answer Author : Nigel Harper

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