graffiti

verb
graf·​fi·​ti | \grə-ˈfē-(ˌ)tē, gra-, grä-\
graffitied; graffitiing\grə-​ˈfē-​(ˌ)tē-​iŋ, gra-​, grä-​ \ also graffiting\grə-​ˈfē-​tiŋ, gra-​, grä-​ \

Definition of graffiti 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to draw graffiti on : to deface with graffiti graffitied walls

graffiti

noun

Definition of graffiti (Entry 2 of 2)

: usually unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface

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Is graffiti singular or plural?: Usage Guide

Noun

Graffiti, which also serves as the plural of graffito, is commonly used as a singular mass noun. graffiti … was depressing people who rode the subways New Yorker graffiti comes in various styles — S. K. Oberbeck This use is well established although not yet as well established as the mass-noun use of data. Use of graffiti as a singular count noun is still quite rare and is not standard.

Examples of graffiti in a Sentence

Noun

The walls of the old building are covered with graffiti.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Vandals used pink and white spray paint to graffiti a string of vehicles, buildings and businesses over the weekend, according to the Boise Police Department. Christina Lords, idahostatesman, "Vandals cause thousands in damage by spray painting businesses, vehicles in Boise | Idaho Statesman," 2 Apr. 2018 But rather than go the traditional route of weighty heritage and spectacular yet static stones, the house has placed its mascot, Wladimir the cat, center stage (in a dedicated app, Vendorama) and tapped the artist Noé to graffiti the entryway. Vogue, "Vendorama: Boucheron’s Anniversary Ode to the Place It Calls Home," 11 Jan. 2018 Mark MacKinnon | The Globe and Mail | Dec 2, 2016 | 63 minutes (15,996 words) MacKinnon tells the story of Naief Abazid, who graffitied a school wall on a lark at age 14. Longreads, "Longreads Best of 2017: All of Our No. 1 Story Picks," 10 May 2017 The Montreal resident, who runs a power-washing business, is the founder of an initiative called Erasing Hate, where he is often called upon to remove hate symbols that have been graffitied onto public property, according to the CBC. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Canadian Town’s Swastika-Adorned Anchor Causes Anger and Confusion," 25 Aug. 2017 Police began investigating after a church parishioner reported finding the door kicked in and graffiti on three buildings. Dan Corey, NBC News, "Air Force Members Painted Satanic Symbols on Historic Church, Police Say," 13 Oct. 2017 The new tagline was graffitied on one of the walls, and hip young guests were plied with Moscow Mules and Armani Exchange popcorn. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Armani Exchange Celebrated a New Era by Creating a Club for a Night," 12 Oct. 2017 Also on display is a photo of a wall graffitied up by Andrew Witten, who went by Zephyr. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Graffiti at the IMA: Spray paint's debut at fancy museum," 5 Oct. 2017 When a giant portrait of a fierce-looking owl, the emblem of Athens since ancient times, was itself graffitied, it was quickly cleaned up. The Economist, "Chic Greek graffitiHow angry street art is making Athens hip," 30 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kendall Jenner, on the other hand, pulled out the low-rise jeans, graffiti T-shirt, baguette bag, and Von Dutch hat for the occasion. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Drake Gave Chanel Bags as Favors at His Birthday Party," 26 Oct. 2018 The group got rid of the litter and gang graffiti, installed brightly painted speed bumps and, in an alley near a liquor store, planted a garden full of spiky cactuses. Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, "Los Angeles Tests the Power of ‘Play Streets’," 29 Apr. 2018 At times, the property has collected trash, debris and graffiti, and exterior pieces like planter bricks, gates and fixtures are gradually disappearing. Parker Leavitt, azcentral, "Readers' picks: Worst Phoenix eyesores of 2015," 4 Nov. 2015 In the center is a drawing by Martin Wong, someone not thought of as a graffiti artist. Brett Sokol, New York Times, "Lee Quiñones Brings Street Art to His Living Room," 10 July 2018 The show featured performance art, graffiti, film, and a carnival atmosphere. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 The Colorado park service considers the message graffiti, a crime punishable by up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. Lilly Price, USA TODAY, "Colorado National monument vandalized in 'promposal' ask," 12 June 2018 The funding request includes the following amounts toward the program: removal of junk, trash and graffiti, $15,000; cutting weed and grass, $15,000; boarding up buildings, $20,000 and demolition, $200,000. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora to get more funding to fight blight," 11 June 2018 Full sets of curricula had yet to arrive, the sole printer didn't work and at least one classroom was still marked by graffiti. Alden Woods, azcentral, "A year after parents sue over Havasupai school, little has changed for Grand Canyon tribe," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'graffiti.' 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 graffiti

Verb

1964, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1945, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for graffiti

Verb

see graffiti entry 2

Noun

Italian, plural of graffito

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Learn More about graffiti

Dictionary Entries near graffiti

gradus

gradus ad Parnassum

graff

graffiti

graffito

graft

graftage

Statistics for graffiti

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for graffiti

The first known use of graffiti was in 1945

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More Definitions for graffiti

graffiti

noun

English Language Learners Definition of graffiti

: pictures or words painted or drawn on a wall, building, etc.

graffiti

noun
graf·​fi·​ti | \grə-ˈfē-tē \

Kids Definition of graffiti

: writing or drawing made on a public structure without permission

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More from Merriam-Webster on graffiti

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with graffiti

Spanish Central: Translation of graffiti

Nglish: Translation of graffiti for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of graffiti for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about graffiti

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