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

Definition of deface

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from deface

defacement \ di-​ˈfās-​mənt How to pronounce deface (audio) , dē-​ \ noun
defacer noun

Synonyms for deface


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Examples of deface in a Sentence

The building was defaced with graffiti. He was fined for defacing public property.
Recent Examples on the Web Kobi Little, president of the Baltimore NAACP, expressed sadness that someone would deface gravestones in a cemetery: a sacred place. Lizzy Lawrence,, 9 July 2021 Decades later, trespassers would routinely throw stones at the building, deface the altar and desecrate graves in its cemetery. Josh Nass, WSJ, 15 July 2021 Black spray paint was used to deface the sculpture and cover text on the pedestal. Marlene Lenthang, ABC News, 25 June 2021 On Thursday, protesters in Central Park splashed red paint on the iconic statues leading into the area before marching uptown along Eighth Avenue to deface property. Fox News, 25 Apr. 2021 Initially hired to run background checks, Mr. Portley-Hanks was paid $7,000 to deface a family grave site in Pennsylvania to intimidate a person who owed money to the gambling ring. New York Times, 18 Mar. 2021 Someone used white and red spray paint to deface a table, floor platform, a sliding board, a pole, two swings and other platforms. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 6 Nov. 2020 Do not deface or tamper with any natural objects or park structures. Joe Songer |, al, 20 Oct. 2020 Their whole marketing scheme was to deface the Los Angeles Lakers and their history. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deface.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deface

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deface

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

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Time Traveler for deface

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near deface



de facto

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Statistics for deface

Last Updated

30 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deface.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for deface



English Language Learners Definition of deface

: to ruin the surface of (something) especially with writing or pictures


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

Kids Definition of deface

: to damage the face or surface of Vandals defaced the statue.


transitive verb
de·​face | \ di-ˈfās How to pronounce deface (audio) \
defaced; defacing

Legal Definition of deface

: to destroy or mar the face or surface of

Other Words from deface

defacement noun
defacer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on deface

Nglish: Translation of deface for Spanish Speakers


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