9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deface
  • But wrecking cars speaks to more than a simple urge to deface property or demand attention.
  • If it is too condemnatory, he fears somebody will deface it.
  • The graffiti looked as if the medium as well as the message was intended to deface and defy, not to beautify or persuade.
  • Let them ask the owner of the property for permission to deface his building.
  • Trump is not allowed to deface or exploit a public treasure.
  • The magazine said the cemetery is upset that fans visiting the grave scatter bottles and deface tombs.
  • Provides that the fact that a laboratory can restore a number does not negate an intent to permanently deface the firearm.
  • Never deface rock art by scratching or rubbing the rock surface.
  • deface or remove and destroy the month and year stickers.
  • The intent of some violators is to simply deface property.
British Dictionary definitions for deface


(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 deface

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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