graf·​fi·​ti | \ grə-ˈfē-(ˌ)tē How to pronounce graffiti (audio) , gra-, grä- \

Definition of graffiti

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: usually unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface


graffitied; graffitiing\ grə-​ˈfē-​(ˌ)tē-​iŋ How to pronounce graffiti (audio) , gra-​ , grä-​ \ also graffiting\ grə-​ˈfē-​tiŋ How to pronounce graffiti (audio) , gra-​ , grä-​ \

Definition of graffiti (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Is graffiti singular or plural?: Usage Guide


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: Noun The graffiti was sprayed on the bathroom walls, mirrors, showers and stalls. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 12 May 2022 The graffiti included an anarchist symbol and the numbers 1312, a shorthand for an anti-police slur. New York Times, 8 May 2022 The graffiti at the middle school was discovered Jan. 27, which was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. John Hilliard,, 2 Feb. 2022 The graffiti was discovered a day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, 29 Jan. 2022 The discovery of the graffiti at Curry comes after similar cases of antisemitic vandalism have been reported at Massachusetts schools and colleges in recent years. Nick Stoico,, 1 Feb. 2022 Two reports of antisemitic graffiti at West Hollywood businesses were made the week of New Year’s Day 2020. Rosanna Xiastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2022 Pando is accused of spray-painting graffiti onto buildings at the 900 block of 5th Street, Northwest; 400 block of Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest; and the 400 block of L Street, Northwest. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 31 Jan. 2022 The graffiti appeared to be yellow swastikas, according to a post on Facebook by the Concerned Citizens League, a Jewish nonprofit. Olivia Olander,, 31 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The announcement follows a weekend of protests in the United Kingdom, where on June 7, protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol and graffitied a statue of Sir Winston Churchill in London. Mélissa Godin, Time, 9 June 2020 What parts of the dining room walls that aren’t obscured by supplies are graffitied with well wishes in English, Spanish and Mandarin, and taped with paper bills like a neighborhood bar. Amy Scattergood, Los Angeles Times, 8 May 2020 In under a hundred years, Florence’s equivalent of a New York minute, the majority were bordered up, graffitied over, repurposed into doorbell posts, or completely covered. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Jan. 2020 There have been at least 12 episodes since Nov. 6, including anti-Asian and anti-black slurs graffitied in residence halls and a swastika in a snow bank near an apartment complex where students live. Doha Madani, NBC News, 20 Nov. 2019 Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times More than 2,500 police officers patrol New York City’s subway, where crime is down sharply from the era of rampant violence and graffiti three decades ago. New York Times, 5 Nov. 2019 Fernandez was proposing to have graffiti-like murals on each of the six panels on the transportation center, with panels representing Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Anthony Clark Carpio, Burbank Leader, 27 Aug. 2019 Situated in a lay-by on the A487, just north of Llanrhystud, about half-way up the west coast of Wales, its importance derives from two words graffitied on it by Meic Stephens, a journalist and activist, in the 1960s: Cofiwch Dryweryn. The Economist, 22 Aug. 2019 My current paralysis seemed to have begun with a three-word question graffitied all over my neighborhood. Catherine Lacey, Harper's magazine, 19 Aug. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of graffiti


1945, in the meaning defined above


1964, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for graffiti

Noun and Verb

Italian, plural of graffito

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Time Traveler for graffiti

Time Traveler

The first known use of graffiti was in 1945

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Dictionary Entries Near graffiti




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Statistics for graffiti

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Graffiti.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for graffiti


graf·​fi·​ti | \ grə-ˈfē-tē How to pronounce graffiti (audio) \

Kids Definition of graffiti

: writing or drawing made on a public structure without permission


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