graffito

noun
graf·​fi·​to | \ grə-ˈfē-(ˌ)tō , gra-, grä-\
plural graffiti\ grə-​ˈfē-​(ˌ)tē , gra-​ , grä-​ \

Definition of graffito

: an inscription or drawing made on some public surface (such as a rock or wall) also : a message or slogan written as or as if as a graffito

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Other Words from graffito

graffitist \ grə-​ˈfē-​tist , gra-​ , grä-​ \ noun

Graffito Is the Singular Form of Graffiti

Any casual writing or design marked on a wall is a graffito. Graffiti (the plural of graffito) have been made throughout history; they are found in abundance on the monuments of ancient Egypt. Technically the term applies to a design scratched through a layer of paint or plaster, but its meaning is extended to other markings. Graffiti produced with spray paint became notorious in New York City in the 1970s and have appeared in cities all over the US and Europe. The 20th-century preoccupation with manifestations of the subconscious stimulated this form of expression and produced a vogue for “graffiti art.” Graffiti are sometimes considered a form of folk art.

Examples of graffito in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Beaton had to leave Vogue for a spell after inserting a piece of anti-Semitic graffito in one of his drawings. New York Times, "Review: In ‘Love, Cecil,’ an Aesthete Ahead of His Time," 28 June 2018 Venice, Barcelona and Amsterdam are among the cities that have seen anti-tourism protests and graffiti aimed at visitors and tour ships. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Staff: Elon Musk teases taking Tesla private with a tweet," 8 Aug. 2018 The contrast of the urban (think graffiti) with the placid (think canal tour boats) is one of the distinct charms of the walk. Melissa Liebling-goldberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Paris Walking Tours," 3 Mar. 2018 The eleven poppy patterns represent a range of Benz's inspirations, like a two-color graffiti print called El Quijote, a splatter paint Corner Deli, and Madison Stripe, which was based off traditional African textiles. Hannah Morrill, ELLE Decor, "Chris Benz's Wallshoppe Wallpaper Collection Is Everything," 26 Nov. 2018 Jerry Wolkoff, the developer who owns the building known as 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens, was fined $6.7 million for painting over the works of 21 graffiti artists. Greg Howard, New York Times, "Graffiti Gets Paid at 5Pointz. Now What?," 20 Feb. 2018 When Baby calls Doc from a pay phone, there are purposeful graffiti tentacles around him. Dana Schwartz, Marie Claire, "17 Easter Eggs You Probably Missed in 'Baby Driver'," 1 Aug. 2017 Fatosme and Lefèvre decorated the corridors and bedrooms with graffiti taken from the Cours Julien, or creators' district, in town. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "At the Nhow Marseille Hotel in France, Italian Furniture and Local Grit Lead the Design," 22 Oct. 2018 Rocky celebrated with friends like Jaden Smith, and the walls of the VIP section were covered in graffiti painted especially for the event by Australian artist Pauly Bonomelli, aka @himumimdead. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "A$AP Rocky Dropped a New Sneaker By Staging a Harlem Rave Slash Skate Park," 17 Sep. 2018

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

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for graffito

Italian, incised inscription, from graffiare to scratch, probably from grafio stylus, from Latin graphium

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Statistics for graffito

Last Updated

28 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for graffito

The first known use of graffito was in 1851

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More from Merriam-Webster on graffito

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about graffito

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