ef·​face | \ i-ˈfās How to pronounce efface (audio) , e- \
effaced; effacing

Definition of efface

transitive verb

1 : to eliminate or make indistinct by or as if by wearing away a surface coins with dates effaced by wear also : to cause to vanish daylight effaced the stars
2 : to make (oneself) modestly or shyly inconspicuous

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from efface

effaceable \ i-​ˈfā-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce effaceable (audio) , e-​ \ adjective
effacer noun

Examples of efface in a Sentence

coins with dates effaced by wear a memory effaced by time
Recent Examples on the Web In the 20th-century tradition, strong men were supposed to be laconic, stoical, self-effacing. . . . WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: Strong Men," 30 Jan. 2020 Ah, a good self-effacing star turn will never get old. Mara Reinstein, Billboard, "The 10 Best Music Moments in 2019 Movies," 18 Dec. 2019 The self-effacing adventurer's first book describes his unsuccessful attempt to climb a remote 19,800-foot peak in northeastern Afghanistan. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 87 Greatest Travel Books of All Time, According to Authors," 8 Jan. 2020 Certain linguistic constructions, critics argue, efface women from being seen in various personal and professional capacities. Washington Post, "A guide to how gender-neutral language is developing around the world," 15 Dec. 2019 His message is self-effacing and surprisingly relatable. William Alden, The Atlantic, "Where Toxic Masculinity Goes to Die," 1 Oct. 2019 The 44-year-old food writer is prone to bouts of self-effacing humor, always delivered with a wry, near-mischievous smile. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Tom Parker Bowles Channels His Love for Christmas into a New Cookbook," 7 Dec. 2019 Modestly built, with fading red hair, blue eyes and a gravelly Midwestern accent, Smith has an amiable, self-effacing demeanor that belies his nine-figure wealth and intense work ethic. Romesh Ratnesar/redmond, Time, "How Microsoft's Brad Smith is Trying to Restore Your Trust in Big Tech," 8 Sep. 2019 And Lachowicz’s gentle, self-effacing manner takes intimidation out of the experience. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Two top Chicago restaurants undergo major changes but still turn out 4-star (and near 4-star) menus," 24 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'efface.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of efface

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for efface

Middle English, from Anglo-French esfacer, effacer, from e- + face face

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about efface

Time Traveler for efface

Time Traveler

The first known use of efface was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for efface

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Efface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/efface. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for efface


How to pronounce efface (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of efface

formal : to cause (something) to fade or disappear


ef·​face | \ i-ˈfās How to pronounce efface (audio) \
effaced; effacing

Kids Definition of efface

: to cause to fade or disappear … she wished to efface the memory of yesterday's failure …— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on efface

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for efface

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with efface

Spanish Central: Translation of efface

Nglish: Translation of efface for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of efface for Arabic Speakers

Comments on efface

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!