deface

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deface

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

Synonyms for deface

Synonyms

trash, vandalize

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of deface in a Sentence

The building was defaced with graffiti. He was fined for defacing public property.

Recent Examples on the Web

Along with protests, animal rights activists have defaced fur coats by dousing them with red paint, signifying blood, and the anti-fur movement became a cause celebre in the 1980s and 1990s. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "California could soon ban sale of new fur products under bill sent to governor," 11 Sep. 2019 Later Sunday, protesters entered the Tung Chung metro station in the neighborhood next to Hong Kong's airport and defaced it. Author: Shibani Mahtani, Timothy Mclaughlin, Anchorage Daily News, "Protesters focus again on Hong Kong’s airport, snarling transport links after day of violence," 1 Sep. 2019 Later Sunday, protesters entered the Tung Chung metro station in the neighborhood next to Hong Kong’s airport and defaced it. Washington Post, "Protesters focus on Hong Kong’s airport, snarling transport links after day of violence," 1 Sep. 2019 If a rider knowingly defaces public or private property open to the public with tire marks, that person would be guilty of a misdemeanor Illinois Chicago: The University of Illinois at Chicago has opened a $43 million engineering facility. USA TODAY, "Big butter sculpture, sweet guitar, owl released: News from around our 50 states," 24 July 2019 Protesters barricaded roads, blocked gas depots, defaced public property and burned cars for weeks on end in demonstration. Ryan Prior And Erin Davis, CNN, "Bastille Day inspired centuries of civil disobedience in France. Here's why," 13 July 2019 However, some people have defaced and damaged the flowers. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A small portion of the estimated 500,000 sunflowers were damaged by visitors," 27 Aug. 2019 This July, Roman officials announced a new sanction to administer fines to those who soil, deface or damage the city’s historic, artistic and monumental sites. Natalie B. Compton, chicagotribune.com, "Sitting on Rome’s famous Spanish Steps can now cost you a serious fine," 20 Aug. 2019 Politics of the day of course often determined who or what was defaced or destroyed. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deface

Statistics for deface

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deface

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deface

deface

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deface

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

deface

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on deface

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deface

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deface

Spanish Central: Translation of deface

Nglish: Translation of deface for Spanish Speakers

Comments on deface

What made you want to look up deface? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!