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

Other Words from efface

effaceable \ i-​ˈfā-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce efface (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 The emperors who followed Nero swept it away in a frenzy, attempting to efface him and his works from Roman memory. Gaia Squarci, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Sep. 2020 To suggest that better factory farms are environmentally desirable—or just—solutions is to efface all ecological and ethical concerns in the name of greenhouse gas reduction. Jan Dutkiewicz, The New Republic, 31 Aug. 2020 Small plaques for cremations are easily and gracefully effaced by rose bushes and grass. 1843, 21 May 2020 Over time, the self-effacing and unpretentious Mr. Mubarak was eclipsed by one with an almost imperial sense of entitlement. Michael Slackman, New York Times, 25 Feb. 2020 This is a little sad and self-effacing but great to see the show use her. Andy Hoglund, EW.com, 26 Apr. 2020 Ryota’s widowed mother, in After the Storm, is kinder, more self-effacing, but prone to attacks of ruefulness. Terrence Rafferty, The Atlantic, 8 Apr. 2020 They have been effaced by the end of the Cold War, the apparent global victory of neo-liberal capitalism, and the resurgence of religious extremism. Julian Gewirtz, Harper's Magazine, 30 Mar. 2020 That sort of self-effacing, apparently unflappable management style served Iger brilliantly. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 27 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Efface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/efface. Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for efface


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

More from Merriam-Webster on efface

Nglish: Translation of efface for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of efface for Arabic Speakers


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