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

In it, the Nuggets’ emerging superstar takes a self-effacing jab at … himself. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic pokes fun at his younger, chubbier self in commercial," 27 Aug. 2019 Lurie, an Eastern European immigrant with Muslim roots, was orphaned in New York and had his identity effaced and remade. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Téa Obreht’s ‘Inland’ transports readers in a sweeping story of the West," 16 Aug. 2019 With ingenuity, dogged determination, and self-effacing humor, Andrei creates a life for himself. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "A big boost for Ciera Burch, and a new leaf for Copper Dog Books," 15 Aug. 2019 But Johnson's ability to shock, paired with his self-effacing humor and boyish charm, also helped him score two terms as London mayor, vaulted him into a stint as foreign secretary and ultimately made him a household name. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister at critical moment for UK," 24 July 2019 The real cougar in the bathroom is barely mentioned, though the irony of a political system where the line between fiction and nonfiction has been effaced to the point of meaninglessness is felt throughout. Dallas News, "Chuck Klosterman tries to make sense of our absurd reality in 'Raised in Captivity'," 16 July 2019 But there’s virtuosity at work in this beguiling comedy that’s no less impressive for being improvisational, understated and refreshingly self-effacing. Ann Hornaday, Twin Cities, "‘Sword of Trust’ is a beguiling, smart — and surprisingly deep — comedy," 25 July 2019 There’s also a pretty funny joke about Coldplay, and some especially good ones at the expense of Sheeran, who is terrifically sly and self-effacing in what emerges as the movie’s strongest performance. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: 'Yesterday' imagines a world without the Beatles — and doesn't make you want to visit," 26 June 2019 Seth Meyers pulled off one of the trickiest feats in awards show memory: an opening monologue that was not too glib but not too preachy, funny but not out of touch, self-effacing without veering into humble-braggy. The New York Times, New York Times, "The Best and Worst of the Golden Globes," 8 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for efface

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for efface

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

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More Definitions for efface



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with efface

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to make a temporary encampment

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