effacement

noun

ef·​face·​ment i-ˈfās-mənt How to pronounce effacement (audio)
e-
1
: the act or process of effacing or eliminating something
Effacement of the forces that press upon or against consciousness is not a simple negation.Charles E. Winquist
especially : reduction to insignificance
It wasn't until after Luce's death, in 1967, that Hadden's name was restored to its place at the top of Time's masthead. His precocious rise and then gradual effacement is the fascinating story of Isaiah Wilner's "The Man Time Forgot … " Charles McGrath
2
medical : the thinning or obliteration of tissue or narrowing of an internal anatomical space
effacement of the spinal subarachnoid space
especially : the shortening and thinning of the uterine cervix during labor so that only the external orifice remains

Examples of effacement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To be fair, the effacement of character is itself one of Leitch’s dramatic points. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 2 May 2024 There are times in The Years when the betrayal and effacement of May compels Ernaux to say something similar. Tobi Haslett, Harper's Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 Harris’s insistence on self-effacement and close attention to Black social relations is what makes her commentary effective. Ismail Muhammad, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 Only in retrospect does the insincere self-effacement by some of the most powerful men of their era take on the infantile quality of potty humor. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2023 Hoss runs the gamut of emotions, from love and vulnerability through anger and grief, to a steely resolve that belies the superficial self-effacement. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Dec. 2022 The Vandewater performs a similar act of semi-self-effacement. Curbed, 18 Aug. 2022 For the aging athlete to continue grinding away, even as their physical prowess begins to fail them, is in some ways a noble act of self-effacement, an abandonment of personal vanity, a repayment of the karmic debt of their natural abilities. Elizabeth Nelson, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2022 One of the reasons Boseman was such a marvelous actor was his genius for self-effacement, his ability to hold the spotlight without dominating it. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'effacement.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of effacement was in 1753

Dictionary Entries Near effacement

Cite this Entry

“Effacement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effacement. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

effacement

noun
ef·​face·​ment i-ˈfās-mənt, e- How to pronounce effacement (audio)
: the thinning or obliteration of tissue or narrowing of an internal anatomical space
effacement of the spinal subarachnoid space
especially : the shortening and thinning of the uterine cervix during labor so that only the external orifice remains
Though far from strong enough to bring your baby into the world, late-third-trimester Braxton Hicks contractions contribute to the effacement and dilation of the cervix … Arlene Eisenberg et al., Parenting
efface transitive verb
effaced; effacing
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