graffiti

verb
graf·​fi·​ti | \ grə-ˈfē-(ˌ)tē How to pronounce graffiti (audio) , gra-, grä-\
graffitied; graffitiing\ grə-​ˈfē-​(ˌ)tē-​iŋ How to pronounce graffitiing (audio) , gra-​ , grä-​ \ also graffiting\ grə-​ˈfē-​tiŋ How to pronounce graffiting (audio) , 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 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, "The Subway Is in Financial Crisis. Are 500 More Police Officers Needed?," 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, "Hollywood Burbank Airport officials continue to seek art for transportation center," 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, "An act of vandalism sparks more talk of independence in Wales," 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, "Who Is She?," 19 Aug. 2019 Black and red spray paint was used to graffiti the church sign and several sides of the church and storehouse, according to Brown. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "After Marriottsville church vandalized with swastikas and ‘racist’ graffiti, community bands together," 30 July 2019 The profanity was graffitied on the base of the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in white paint, TV station WVIR reported. USA TODAY, "Big butter sculpture, sweet guitar, owl released: News from around our 50 states," 24 July 2019 Since then, poor twelve-foot bronze Harry has been guillotined, graffitied, painted, bombed, and toppled, according to the current anti-American gripe of the day. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 2019 Students graffiti the walls, cheat on homework, and text too much in class. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Magic for Liars blends magic school with a murder mystery," 15 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The structure also became a haven for graffiti artists, and some of their work remains today. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Madison's century-old 'Sugar Castle' has found new life as a food hall," 8 Nov. 2019 Not a graffiti artist himself, Mr. López plays multiple roles: art director, business manager, promoter, negotiator, lawyer, entrepreneur, festival producer, even tour guide. New York Times, "Fighting Social Injustice Through Graffiti, and Making a Business of It," 1 Nov. 2019 In addition to featuring the simulated Warhols and actual Matta-Clarks, the artist has offered the gallery walls to area graffiti artists. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "At Glenstone, ‘Fear Eats the Soul’ includes a show-within-a-show — and free soup," 31 Oct. 2019 Jimenez got started documenting graffiti artists in Barcelona who used the city’s deserted places as canvases. Jonathan "jonk" Jimenez, National Geographic, "See nature reclaim these abandoned places," 10 Oct. 2019 People used to call the police on graffiti artists and in galleries, Basquiat was a unicorn. BostonGlobe.com, "Come get your uncle, Hollywood.," 9 Oct. 2019 On the back of his sign, local graffiti artists had scrawled a few intriguing messages. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "It's Israel's election but here's why Donald Trump is the 'King of Israel'," 16 Sep. 2019 The Espolon Tequila branded activation was stocked with spray painters working on NYC-themed murals long after dusk, while other graffiti artists turned wood into wonder between the stages. Megan Venzin, Billboard, "The Nine Best Moments of Electric Zoo 2019 Featuring Kaskade, Alison Wonderland, Dog Blood & More," 3 Sep. 2019 The graffiti was spray-painted on the door and walls at the entrance to the EU offices in Ramat Gan, The Times of Israel reported, adding that Israeli police were investigating. Fox News, "'Deplorable' graffiti found at European Union's Israel mission sparks condemnation," 16 Sep. 2019

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

Noun and Verb

Italian, plural of graffito

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Statistics for graffiti

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

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 How to pronounce graffiti (audio) \

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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