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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-feys] /dɪˈfeɪs/
verb (used with object), defaced, defacing.
to mar the surface or appearance of; disfigure:
to deface a wall by writing on it.
to efface, obliterate, or injure the surface of, as to make illegible or invalid:
to deface a bond.
Origin of deface
1275-1325; Middle English defacen < Old French desfacier, equivalent to des- dis-1 + facier (face face + -ier infinitive suffix)
Related forms
defaceable, adjective
defacement, noun
defacer, noun
undefaceable, adjective
undefaced, adjective
1. spoil. See mar. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for defacement
Historical Examples
  • They are never disfigured with vile language or other defacement.

    Farm Boys and Girls William Arch McKeever
  • One of the islanders might chance to observe the defacement of the tomb.

    Tongues of Conscience Robert Smythe Hichens
  • Later evidence indicates that while there was a demonstration there was no defacement of the vault.

    Cuba, Old and New Albert Gardner Robinson
  • It was its extreme hardness that saved it from destruction and defacement.

  • By the following simple method this can be done without any injury or defacement of the ivory.

  • About eight o'clock the sedan was brought home empty, and without a sign of defacement inside or out.

  • He also had another "token" in the shape of threatened violence and the defacement of his house.

  • The Journal had been calling the attention of its readers to the defacement of the landscape by billboard advertisers.

  • Pictures of generals or royalties are especially liable to defacement with opprobrious epithets.

    A Librarian's Open Shelf Arthur E. Bostwick
  • In England, the purpose of the defacement marks is primarily to prevent the stamp being used again.

    Her Majesty's Mails William Lewins
British Dictionary definitions for defacement


(transitive) to spoil or mar the surface, legibility, or appearance of; disfigure
Derived Forms
defaceable, adjective
defacement, noun
defacer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defacement

1560s, from deface + -ment.



mid-14c., "to obliterate," from Old French desfacier "mutilate, destroy, disfigure," from des- "away from" (see dis-) + Vulgar Latin *facia (see face (n.)). Weaker sense of "to mar, make ugly" is late 14c. in English. Related: Defaced; defacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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