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 Sulyandziga was unable to make a trip to a United Nations meeting in New York in 2014 when a border guard defaced his passport by cutting a page out of it. Author: Will Englund, Anchorage Daily News, "Russian group that spoke up for native people in the Far North is closed over a paperwork error," 17 Nov. 2019 Was just sent the video of this idiot defacing Montana statue after MNF game. Ron Kroichick,, "49ers’ Richard Sherman on fan defacing Joe Montana statue: ‘It’s ridiculous’," 14 Nov. 2019 Then after a trip to Maryland, Michigan State will seek revenge after the Wolverines defaced the Spartans’ on-field logo last season. Teddy Greenstein,, "5 things we learned about Big Ten football after Week 8, including the Michigan-Penn State fallout and the looming Lovie Smith decision. Plus, our updated power rankings.," 20 Oct. 2019 On July 1, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, demonstrators smashed their way into the offices, then defaced the room in which Lam tried to speak Wednesday., "HONG KONG — Prodemocracy lawmakers drove Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, from the legislative chamber Wednesday as she prepared to make a speech outlining policy ideas for dealing with Hong Kong’s roiling crisis.," 17 Oct. 2019 Is Caught In the Middle Starbucks’ storefronts are increasingly being tagged and defaced as Hong Kong protests escalate—collateral damage in the battle over control of the island territory. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Jamie Dimon May Be the New Jack Welch: CEO Daily," 3 Oct. 2019 The Chinese flag was burned and images of China’s president Xi Jinping defaced. Time Staff, Time, "Hong Kong's Political Crisis Deepens After the Worst Day of Violence in Decades," 2 Oct. 2019 Colorado police are searching for the vandal who defaced a new sign outside of a Grand Junction mosque this week. NBC News, "Police searching for suspect who vandalized Colorado mosque," 20 Sep. 2019 Police are investigating the incident as defacing of property and criminal mischief, Davidson said. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Grand Junction mosque sign vandalized, police looking for suspect," 19 Sep. 2019

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

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Deface.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on deface

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deface

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deface

Spanish Central: Translation of deface

Nglish: Translation of deface for Spanish Speakers

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