• synonyms


See more synonyms for efface on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ef·faced, ef·fac·ing.
  1. to wipe out; do away with; expunge: to efface one's unhappy memories.
  2. to rub out, erase, or obliterate (outlines, traces, inscriptions, etc.).
  3. to make (oneself) inconspicuous; withdraw (oneself) modestly or shyly.
Show More

Origin of efface

From the Middle French word effacer, dating back to 1480–90. See ef-, face
Related formsef·face·a·ble, adjectiveef·face·ment, nounef·fac·er, nounun·ef·face·a·ble, adjectiveun·ef·faced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for efface

Historical Examples

  • Why should he efface himself, if it meant Sidney's unhappiness?


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But here is a confession which a hundred crosses can not efface.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • This was alone wanting to efface every trace of the old Republican spirit.

  • Enough to efface it in the eyes of one who had never sinned?

  • Will it be possible to efface the evil impress left on that mind and body?

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc

British Dictionary definitions for efface


verb (tr)
  1. to obliterate or make dimto efface a memory
  2. to make (oneself) inconspicuous or humble through modesty, cowardice, or obsequiousness
  3. to rub out (a line, drawing, etc); erase
Show More
Derived Formseffaceable, adjectiveeffacement, nouneffacer, noun

Word Origin

C15: from French effacer, literally: to obliterate the face; see face
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 efface


late 15c., from Middle French effacer, from Old French esfacier (12c.) "to wipe out, destroy," literally "to remove the face," from es- "out" (see ex-) + face "appearance," from Latin facies "face" (see face (n.)). Related: Effaced; effacing. Cf. deface.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper