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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 defacing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Any person displacing or defacing this abstract is liable to a penalty not exceeding 40 shillings.

  • The defacing finger of Time is visible on all perishable articles.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • defacing the property of others is a particularly mean and contemptible form of mischief.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Sound, I protest,—sound in wind and limb; not a defacing mark!

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • Take off the top nicely, and without breaking or defacing, and hollow out the inside, leaving the sides and bottom standing.

  • "You are defacing a fair memory," sighed the sculptor, with mock melancholy.

    The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers
  • But the assassins had been condemned to death “on the statute for defacing and dismembering, called the Coventry Act.”

  • In his visitations he was very severe in defacing fictitious arms.

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
British Dictionary definitions for defacing


(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 defacing



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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