[ ih-feys ]
See 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.).

  1. to make (oneself) inconspicuous; withdraw (oneself) modestly or shyly.

Origin of efface

From the Middle French word effacer, dating back to 1480–90; see ef-, face

Other words from efface

  • ef·face·a·ble, adjective
  • ef·face·ment, noun
  • ef·fac·er, noun
  • un·ef·face·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ef·faced, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use efface in a sentence

  • The announcer said brightly, “She is completely effaced right now, and she just lost her mucus plug.”

  • Upon her Kerry directed a look from which all fierceness had been effaced, and which expressed only an undying admiration.

    Dope | Sax Rohmer
  • The scene produced an effect upon the spirit of Jane which was never effaced.

  • Home-sickness and yearning effaced all other impressions, and destroyed all his earlier tendencies, desires, and thoughts.

  • She sat unnoticed and effaced; only from time to time the young girl, Winny Heron, sent her a look from soft eyes that adored her.

    The Creators | May Sinclair
  • It was a stain that can never be effaced—a deed most diabolical, and what we thought would call down the vengeance of heaven.

British Dictionary definitions for efface


/ (ɪˈfeɪs) /

  1. to obliterate or make dim: to efface a memory

  2. to make (oneself) inconspicuous or humble through modesty, cowardice, or obsequiousness

  1. to rub out (a line, drawing, etc); erase

Origin of efface

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

Derived forms of efface

  • effaceable, adjective
  • effacement, noun
  • effacer, 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