dis·​fig·​ure | \ dis-ˈfi-gyər , especially British -ˈfi-gər\
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

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Other Words from disfigure

disfigurement \ -​mənt \ 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

Then there was disbelief when his father, disfigured beyond recognition, was finally brought home. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, "‘I would kill anyone. Even my own brother.’," 26 Mar. 2018 Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, insisted that her son’s disfigured body be displayed in an open-casket funeral. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation into the Murder of Emmett Till," 12 July 2018 The use of corrosive liquids, which leave victims gruesomely disfigured with life-altering injuries, has grown in popularity the last few years. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Father of 3-year-old UK boy charged in apparent acid attack, due in court with 5 other suspects," 28 Aug. 2018 No, they are born as they are born — beautiful, different, disfigured, challenged. Robert Hoge, Good Housekeeping, "After I Was Born, My Mom Wanted to Leave Me at the Hospital," 12 Sep. 2016 Now, the woman in that video has told Channel 2 Action News that the cosmetic surgery left her disfigured. Terah Boyd, ajc, "Women say Gwinnett doctor invaded privacy with online video, photos," 4 June 2018 Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, requested an open-casket funeral so that people around the world could witness her son’s disfigured, swollen body. Jenny Jarvie, latimes.com, "Justice Department reopens Emmett Till case. His killing in 1955 put a spotlight on racial violence," 12 July 2018 The three people who died had been traveling in one of the rail cars that was severely disfigured by the crash impact, NTSB said. Alan Levin, chicagotribune.com, "Amtrak rail cars in fatal December crash in Washington didn't meet current standards," 10 July 2018 For all the potential skill on display, this was a weirdly poor game, disjointed, disfigured by dives and cynical fouls, lacking much in the way of control or cohesion. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Imperfect Real Madrid Earns Relief vs. PSG, Liverpool Makes Another EPL Statement in UCL," 14 Feb. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for disfigure

Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for disfigure

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

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More Definitions for disfigure



English Language Learners Definition of disfigure

: to spoil or damage the appearance of (something or someone)


dis·​fig·​ure | \ dis-ˈfi-gyər \
disfigured; disfiguring

Kids Definition of disfigure

: to spoil the looks of

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Comments on disfigure

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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