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

Example Sentences

The building was defaced with graffiti. He was fined for defacing public property.
Recent Examples on the Web Jose Hernandez, a Little Rock artist who painted some of the murals that line the street, has lost count of the number of times he's had to paint over vandals' efforts to deface the art pieces. Grant Lancaster, Arkansas Online, 9 Oct. 2022 Police also allege Beilman and Harwood directed a third man, Matthew Smaller, 24, of Maynard, to deface the grounds of Framingham State with Patriot Front stickers. Laura Crimaldi, BostonGlobe.com, 23 July 2022 Why would someone climb 100 feet above a busy highway to deface an ad for a religious TV show? Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2022 Hackers might deface Swedish websites and spread disinformation online, Mr. Lindahl said. WSJ, 20 May 2022 No one will make an attempt to deface a sign this evening. Ted Glanzer, Hartford Courant, 9 May 2022 In ancient Egypt, pharaohs who didn't like their predecessors would literally deface their monuments — taking the faces off their statues and reworking the stone into their own likeness. Jason Fields, The Week, 19 Apr. 2022 This chat, for instance, appears to show a PF member discussing how to deface a civil rights mural in Detroit. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 22 Jan. 2022 Under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, those who deface cultural sites face up to two years in prison and a $20,000 fine per charge. Gina Rae La Cerva, Outside Online, 1 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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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