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

In this poetic, empathic portrait of a place where ugliness and suffering have been hidden away Farrokhzad observes faces, limbs, hands, and feet grotesquely disfigured by the disease. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Doc Talk: Outcasts, deportees, crustaceans, grants," 1 Aug. 2019 He was taken to Mercy Hospital and listed as John Doe for two weeks until police used a mugshot to identify him, even though his face was badly disfigured by the beating, the lawsuit states. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Man taken off life support by wrong family after he was misidentified by Chicago police, lawsuit says," 4 July 2019 Sitting quietly in the very center of central Europe, wedged between bigger and stronger nations (Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland), Slovakia was brutally disfigured by its communist regime, then overshadowed by the Czechs. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Rick Steves: Slovakia’s capital is the fastest-changing city in Europe with remarkable comeback," 2 July 2019 De La Hoya didn’t see the light until Pacquiao disfigured his handsome face with combinations. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "Why shouldn’t we worry about Manny Pacquiao boxing at age 40? God, he says," 3 July 2019 Bras with insufficient support, running packs chafing our breasts, hats and head-torches slipping down over our eyes are all irritants that disfigure our pleasure and discourage women from taking part. The Economist, "For women, running is still an act of defiance," 28 June 2019 My surgery had left me pretty disfigured — one breast was the size of a cantaloupe but the other was the size of a grapefruit. Teen Vogue, "I Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer for the First Time at Age 16," 21 June 2019 Sorry that is not good news; hopefully an arborist can save the tree without disfiguring it. oregonlive.com, "Ask an Expert: Selectively thin branches, rather than ‘top’ a Raywood ash," 14 June 2019 And there is one, in particular, who works today with prostheses for people who are injured, people who have been horribly disfigured by some sort of a scenario. CBS News, "Transcript: Jonna Mendez talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 5 June 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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Statistics for disfigure

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce disfigure (audio) \
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).


a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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