deface

verb

de·​face di-ˈfās How to pronounce deface (audio)
dē-
defaced; defacing; defaces

transitive verb

1
: to mar the appearance of : injure by effacing significant details
deface an inscription
2
: impair
3
obsolete : destroy
defacement noun
defacer noun

Examples of deface in a Sentence

The building was defaced with graffiti. He was fined for defacing public property.
Recent Examples on the Web Bad behavior: Entitled tourists are running amok, defacing the Colosseum, getting rowdy in Bali and messing with wild animals in national parks. Colleen Grablick, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 Members of the crowd defaced the vehicle and threw a firecracker inside it, which set it on fire. Jody Serrano / Gizmodo, Quartz, 12 Feb. 2024 An article on Thursday about a tourist’s apology for defacing the Colosseum misstated the age of Ivan Danailov Dimitrov. New York Times, 11 July 2023 Outside the Hunter campus, a poster of the hostages being held in Gaza was defaced with swastikas. Emma Green, The New Yorker, 15 Dec. 2023 Her signs were defaced with mustaches and devil horns; bullet holes were drawn on her forehead. Julie Satow, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2023 An Ohio woman pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge for defacing a pro-life reproductive health clinic earlier this year, with the potential of facing jail time for the act. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 9 Dec. 2023 The fifteen-hundred-pound statue—defaced, toppled, and streaked with paint—is currently on display in a room at Richmond’s Valentine museum, whose founding president was the sculptor himself. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2023 Though Napoleon’s troops were accused of defacing the sphinx nothing of the kind ever occurred. Zenger News, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deface.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French *desfacer, *deffacer, from des- de- + face front, face

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deface was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near deface

Cite this Entry

“Deface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deface. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

deface

verb
de·​face di-ˈfās How to pronounce deface (audio)
: to destroy or damage the face or surface of
defacement noun
defacer noun

Legal Definition

deface

transitive verb
de·​face di-ˈfās How to pronounce deface (audio)
defaced; defacing
: to destroy or mar the face or surface of
defacement noun
defacer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on deface

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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