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

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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 Playful and self-effacing, Bill eagerly engaged in his children's and grandchildren's endeavors. courant.com, "William M. Ryan," 6 Nov. 2019 Like a real-life version of Clark Kent or Peter Parker, the self-effacing Gillespie morphs in his spare time into a crime-foiling superhero. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The Ransomware Superhero of Normal, Illinois," 28 Oct. 2019 Warm and self-effacing in person, McAllister had a lower public profile than his predecessor, Ray Conner, a former chief salesman known for his white-glove treatment of key clients. Los Angeles Times, "Boeing’s jetliner division chief steps down amid 737 Max crisis," 22 Oct. 2019 The risk, of course, is that her vision might also efface the crimes for which the women served time and, in turn, the unseen victim or victims who correspond to each image. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "Life After Prison for Women Who Served Decades Behind Bars," 22 Oct. 2019 The wind that exposed the ancient buildings now promises to efface them altogether in a short time. Ernest Hilbert, Washington Post, "In ‘Surfacing,’ Kathleen Jamie ponders the natural world and our place in it," 3 Oct. 2019 As Bee, the young actress Emma Nelson makes a self-effacing, subtly impressive feature film debut. Michael Phillips, Twin Cities, "‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’: A brilliant, troubled architect becomes a bit of a bore," 16 Aug. 2019 Saban’s self-effacing humor is one of his most endearing qualities. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Gus Malzahn, thanks for the laughs," 11 Sep. 2019 As Bee, the young actress Emma Nelson — daughter of Sheryl Nelson, who owns Elgin’s Goddard School, and West Dundee Mayor Chris Nelson — makes a self-effacing, subtly impressive feature film debut. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ review: Richard Linklater’s latest, starring Cate Blanchett, is a bit of a bore," 15 Aug. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for efface

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for efface

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Efface.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effaced. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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

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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

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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