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deface

[dih-feys]
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verb (used with object), de·faced, de·fac·ing.
  1. to mar the surface or appearance of; disfigure: to deface a wall by writing on it.
  2. to efface, obliterate, or injure the surface of, as to make illegible or invalid: to deface a bond.
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Origin of deface

1275–1325; Middle English defacen < Old French desfacier, equivalent to des- dis-1 + facier (face face + -ier infinitive suffix)
Related formsde·face·a·ble, adjectivede·face·ment, nounde·fac·er, nounun·de·face·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·faced, adjective

Synonyms

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1. spoil. See mar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

impairmentdisfigurementvandalism

Examples from the Web for defacement

Historical Examples

  • One of the islanders might chance to observe the defacement of the tomb.

    Tongues of Conscience

    Robert Smythe Hichens

  • They are never disfigured with vile language or other defacement.

    Farm Boys and Girls

    William Arch McKeever

  • It was its extreme hardness that saved it from destruction and defacement.

  • Val knew it in a moment, in spite of its marks of defacement.

    Elster's Folly

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • The idea that the chiefs who erected these monuments were the authors of their defacement is too absurd for serious consideration.


British Dictionary definitions for defacement

deface

verb
  1. (tr) to spoil or mar the surface, legibility, or appearance of; disfigure
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Derived Formsdefaceable, adjectivedefacement, noundefacer, 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

Word Origin and History for defacement

n.

1560s, from deface + -ment.

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deface

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper