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

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

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 The injury left his hand completely disfigured and led to his index figure being amputated. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "NFL Star Jason Pierre-Paul Shares Gruesome Hand Injury Photos to Warn Others About Firework Safety," 4 July 2018 Girl burned in Massachusetts: Two sisters tied down and burned a 5-year-old girl, permanently disfiguring her, in a voodoo ritual meant to rid her of a demon causing her to misbehave, police said. Washington Post, "Federal judge halts deportation proceedings against Indonesian Christians in N.J.," 6 Mar. 2018 When his mother returns, she has been literally disfigured, her arms covered in scars, her movements wary, her conversation guarded, even around her son. Andrew Lanham, The New Republic, "Michael Ondaatje’s Haunting Pasts," 8 June 2018 The patients claim her negligence left them disfigured and, in one case, brain damaged. Christina Caron, New York Times, "Doctor Who Danced During Surgery Is Suspended by Georgia Medical Board," 7 June 2018 So liberal internationalists should enjoy the World Cup, despite the Putinophile propaganda that will no doubt disfigure it from time to time. The Economist, "For all its faults, the World Cup in Russia is worth celebrating," 9 June 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

20 Sep 2018

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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