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

Part of the melted dashboard was permanently disfigured. Garnett Kilberg Cohen, The New Yorker, "My Life in Smoke," 25 Aug. 2019 More than 40 million people were killed, injured or permanently disfigured—and for what? Joseph Loconte, WSJ, "The Versailles Treaty Gets a Bum Rap," 27 June 2019 The body was badly disfigured from the fire, and officials are working to identify the man, Leibman said. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Man’s body found in Renton homeless camp after fire, police say," 29 Aug. 2019 After an encounter with the Punisher leaves him horribly disfigured, mob boss Billy Russoti changes his name to Jigsaw and sets out for revenge. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 People with this disease are relegated to the indoors because exposure to light can lead to disfiguring blisters. Leah Hall, Country Living, "Fact or Fiction: Are Vampires Real?," 14 Aug. 2019 There was Incahuasi, more than a mile higher than Mont Blanc, its flanks disfigured by ancient lava flows, its summit home to an Incan ceremonial platform. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 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

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

18 Oct 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 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 topic to which one constantly reverts

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