dis·​fig·​ure | \ dis-ˈfi-gyər How to pronounce disfigure (audio) , especially British -ˈfi-gə \
disfigured; disfiguring; disfigures

Definition of disfigure

transitive verb

1 : to impair (as in beauty) by deep and persistent injuries a face disfigured by smallpox
2 obsolete : disguise

Other Words from disfigure

disfigurement \ dis-​ˈfi-​gyər-​mənt How to pronounce disfigure (audio) , especially British  -​ˈfi-​gə-​ \ noun

Examples of disfigure in a Sentence

His face was disfigured by a scar. the statue was seriously disfigured by falling rubble during the earthquake
Recent Examples on the Web In an unrelated case, court records indicate Boswell is charged with first-degree assault with intent to disfigure in a Sept. 11, 2019, incident in which he is accused of beating a man causing brain damage to him. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 21 Apr. 2022 Perez faces three felony charges, including a charge of assault with intent to disfigure and dismember and a charge of assault with intent to seriously injure someone with a weapon. Amir Vera And Liam Reilly, CNN, 28 Feb. 2022 Yet the addition of modern touches threatens to disfigure the cathedral, according to dozens of cultural figures and intellectuals who have stood up against the proposals. New York Times, 10 Dec. 2021 For example, newer cultivars of flowering crabapple trees are usually resistant to apple scab and fire blight, diseases that disfigure many older trees. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, 19 Sep. 2021 From April 1992 until the summer of 1995, the newly independent republic of Bosnia endured the darkest violence to disfigure Europe since World War II. Steve Coll, The New York Review of Books, 28 May 2020 The perpetrators don't usually intend to kill but to disfigure their victims' faces. Rakesh Kumar, CNN, 12 July 2021 RespectAbility, an organization that advocates for individuals with disabilities, said Hollywood’s tendency to disfigure evil characters, even unintentionally, can cause people to be afraid of those who don’t look like them. Rebecca Rubin, chicagotribune.com, 5 Nov. 2020 Those lies include social media memes stating the vaccine will leave an invisible digital, trackable tattoo; that Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leader in the vaccine effort, is actually Satan; and that the vaccine will hideously disfigure your face. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, 12 Aug. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of disfigure

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disfigure

Middle English, from Anglo-French desfigurer, from des- dis- + figure figure

Learn More About disfigure

Time Traveler for disfigure

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near disfigure




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for disfigure

Last Updated

27 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disfigure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disfigure. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for disfigure


dis·​fig·​ure | \ dis-ˈfi-gyər How to pronounce disfigure (audio) \
disfigured; disfiguring

Kids Definition of disfigure

: to spoil the looks of

More from Merriam-Webster on disfigure

Nglish: Translation of disfigure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disfigure for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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