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 defacement (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 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, "Man with loaded handgun, marijuana & cash passes out in car: Brook Park police blotter," 6 Nov. 2020 Do not deface or tamper with any natural objects or park structures. Joe Songer |, al, "Check out the beauty of Hurricane Creek Park," 20 Oct. 2020 Their whole marketing scheme was to deface the Los Angeles Lakers and their history. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Reggie Miller, Chris Webber break down NBA playoffs: 'Don't be cryptic, Paul George'," 16 Sep. 2020 Efforts to topple, rename, remove, and deface Confederate statues across the country intensified following civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death on May 25. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Virginia Military Institute refuses to take down Confederate statues or rename buildings," 31 July 2020 Somebody has the right to destroy it, deface it, and tear it down? Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "Tennessee Dem lawmaker decries response to riots in viral speech: 'What we see is not peaceful'," 28 Aug. 2020 Some have gone so far as to deface paintings and tear down murals and signs. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Investigation launched after park ranger removes, damages Black Lives Matter murals in Patterson Park," 2 Aug. 2020 The federal surge to Portland comes as Trump has promised a strong response to protesters who deface monuments and other property. Tim Elfrink, Washington Post, "Federal officers severely wounded a Portland protester. Local leaders blame Trump.," 13 July 2020 Those who would deface or destroy these statues or other remembrances of these men are criminals. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Hell no! Top conservatives fight ‘ignorant mob’ erasing American history, police, and flag," 9 July 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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Statistics for deface

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deface.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for deface


How to pronounce deface (audio)

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.
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deface

Nglish: Translation of deface for Spanish Speakers

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