graffiti

[ gruh-fee-tee ]
/ grəˈfi ti /

noun

plural of graffito.
(used with a plural verb) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood's decline.
(used with a singular verb) such markings as a whole or as constituting a particular group: Not much graffiti appears around here these days.

Nearby words

  1. graefe's operation,
  2. graefe's sign,
  3. graeffe method,
  4. graf,
  5. graf, steffi,
  6. graffito,
  7. graft,
  8. graft hybrid,
  9. graft-versus-host disease,
  10. graftage

Origin of graffiti

1850–55; < Italian, plural of graffito incised inscription or design, derivative with -ito -ite2 of graffiare to scratch, perhaps influenced by presumed Latin *graphīre to write; both probably derivative of Latin graphium stylus < Greek grapheîon; cf. graphic, grapho-, graft1

Related formsgraf·fi·tist, noun

Usage note

In formal speech and writing graffiti takes a plural verb. In less formal contexts it is sometimes considered a mass noun and is used with a singular verb. The singular graffito is found mostly in archaeological and other technical writing.

graffito

[ gruh-fee-toh ]
/ grəˈfi toʊ /

noun, plural graf·fi·ti [gruh-fee-tee] /grəˈfi ti/.

Archaeology. an ancient drawing or writing scratched on a wall or other surface.
a single example of graffiti.

Origin of graffito

see origin at graffiti

Usage note


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for graffiti


British Dictionary definitions for graffiti

graffiti

/ (ɡræˈfiːtiː) /

pl n singular -to (-təʊ)

(sometimes with singular verb) drawings, messages, etc, often obscene, scribbled on the walls of public lavatories, advertising posters, etc
archaeol inscriptions or drawings scratched or carved onto a surface, esp rock or pottery
Derived Formsgraffitist, noun

Word Origin for graffiti

C19: graffito from Italian: a little scratch, from graffio, from Latin graphium stylus, from Greek grapheion; see graft 1

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 graffiti
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper