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

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Other Words from disfigure

disfigurement \ dis-​ˈfi-​gyər-​mənt How to pronounce disfigurement (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 The rest of the commercial looks like any other Bond movie, though, complete with stunts, gunfire and two facially disfigured villains (Christoph Waltz and Rami Malek). Bruce Fretts, New York Times, "Super Bowl Movie Trailers Ranked From Best to Worst," 3 Feb. 2020 Toward its midpoint, the doc (often vaguely) presents another possibility: That Mariah, who was disfigured and fell down frequently, was pushed down a flight of stairs by a sister who disliked her. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The State of Texas vs. Melissa': Film Review | Tribeca 2020," 23 Apr. 2020 The lucky individuals who did survive were usually physically disfigured. Sarah Smith-ruehle, Dallas News, "Martial law once enforced quarantines in Dallas," 17 Mar. 2020 Faced with a devastating list of injuries, Gentry started to prepare herself for living with the reality of being disfigured. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Nonprofit Face Forward Changes the Lives of Domestic Violence Survivors With Free Plastic Surgery," 26 Mar. 2019 Garvey has had to reconstruct jaws that have failed before, leaving patients disfigured and unable to chew properly. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 The idea that not even death could free slaves from their shackles, that one might be resurrected to perform manual labor for eternity, reflects the cultural psychology of a country disfigured by colonialism. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "‘Zombi Child’ auteur Bertrand Bonello on colonialism, French trap music, and a ‘cinema of fear’," 23 Jan. 2020 Chelsea has led a difficult life the last few years — he was left severely disfigured after he was hit by a drunk driver in 2013. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "First African American Man to Get a Face Transplant Is ‘On the Road to Recovery’," 24 Oct. 2019 So is the white gauze mask that usually covers the lower half of her face, the part most badly disfigured by her suicide attempt. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Given a second chance at life, Nome woman runs her way to health and happiness," 11 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for disfigure

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for disfigure

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disfigure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disfigure. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for disfigure


How to pronounce disfigure (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disfigure

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


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

Kids Definition of disfigure

: to spoil the looks of

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