physiognomy n

ME fisnomye < medieval L. < Gk φνσιογνωμονία judging of a man's nature by his features < φύσις, nature + γνώμων, interpreter, judge.

  1. Countenance; presence; visage; aspect.
  2. Any human face; mortal eyes; [metonymy] mortal; human being.
  3. Studying the features and lines of a structure to predict its purpose or destiny; inspecting a physical form to determine its use.