also type-face, 1852, "top of a type," from type (n.) in the printing sense + face (n.). In modern common usage, synonymous with font (n.2), but there is a technical distinction: the typeface is the set of characters of the same design; the font is the physical (or electronic) means of producing them.
also black-face, 1868 (the phrase itself seems not to have been common in print before 1880s) in reference to a performance style, originated in U.S., where (typically) non-black performers used burnt cork or other theatrical make-up to blacken their faces, from black (adj.) + face (n.). The thing itself is older, from the 1830s.
The old-time black face song-and-dance man has disappeared from the stage. At one time no minstrel or variety company was complete without a team of these stage favorites; and who can ever forget their reception at every performance? It made no difference whether they represented the genteel or the plantation negro, they were always welcome, and as a rule were the big feature of the bill. [William E. "Judge" Horton, "About Stage Folks," 1902]
*dhē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to set, put."
It forms all or part of: abdomen; abscond; affair; affect (v.1) "make a mental impression on;" affect (v.2) "make a pretense of;" affection; amplify; anathema; antithesis; apothecary; artifact; artifice; beatific; benefice; beneficence; beneficial; benefit; bibliothec; bodega; boutique; certify; chafe; chauffeur; comfit; condiment; confection; confetti; counterfeit; deed; deem; deface; defeasance; defeat; defect; deficient; difficulty; dignify; discomfit; do (v.); doom; -dom; duma; edifice; edify; efface; effect; efficacious; efficient; epithet; facade; face; facet; facial; -facient; facile; facilitate; facsimile; fact; faction (n.1) "political party;" -faction; factitious; factitive; factor; factory; factotum; faculty; fashion; feasible; feat; feature; feckless; fetish; -fic; fordo; forfeit; -fy; gratify; hacienda; hypothecate; hypothesis; incondite; indeed; infect; justify; malefactor; malfeasance; manufacture; metathesis; misfeasance; modify; mollify; multifarious; notify; nullify; office; officinal; omnifarious; orifice; parenthesis; perfect; petrify; pluperfect; pontifex; prefect; prima facie; proficient; profit; prosthesis; prothesis; purdah; putrefy; qualify; rarefy; recondite; rectify; refectory; sacrifice; salmagundi; samadhi; satisfy; sconce; suffice; sufficient; surface; surfeit; synthesis; tay; ticking (n.); theco-; thematic; theme; thesis; verify.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Latin facere "to make, do; perform; bring about;" Lithuanian dėti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old English don "to do."
1520s, "have the face toward," from French fronter, from Old French front (see front (n.)). Meaning "meet face-to-face" is from 1580s. Meaning "serve as a public facade for" is from 1932. Related: Fronted; fronting.