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

Several cars, street signs and utilities boxes had been spray painted with graffiti, ranging from swastikas to racial slurs to phallic symbols. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Vandals spray painted swastikas, racial slurs in Independence Township," 12 July 2018 Its walls and tables are adorned with colorful graffiti by local artists. New York Times, "A Restaurant Takes On the Opioid Crisis, One Worker at a Time," 10 July 2018 The green hooded spring military jacket has the words written graffiti-style on the back. Fox News, "The Latest: Pope reiterates opposition to separating kids," 21 June 2018 Almost overnight, symbols of the Ortegas were painted with graffiti, burned, pulled down and stamped on by angry feet. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Nicaraguans battle over symbols amid unrest," 15 June 2018 In fact, keeping up with graffiti on public property is a never-ending struggle. Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Another issue for the Longfellow Bridge: graffiti," 8 May 2018 That’s why the set consisted of a giant mound of fake snow covered with graffiti. Cathy Horyn, The Cut, "How Technology Will Transform Tailoring," 5 Mar. 2018 Gascón said graffiti removal costs the city roughly $20 million a year. Lauren Hernandez, SFChronicle.com, "Seven ‘high-profile’ graffiti taggers indicted in taggings across San Francisco," 10 July 2018 Street art and graffiti, for example, became hugely popular in the 1980s, especially among New York City artists who sought to make artwork accessible outside of the confining walls of museums. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Modern Takes on 80s Artwork Hit Washington D.C. Streets," 23 Apr. 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

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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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Comments on graffiti

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