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[ih-feys] /ɪˈfeɪs/
verb (used with object), effaced, effacing.
to wipe out; do away with; expunge:
to efface one's unhappy memories.
to rub out, erase, or obliterate (outlines, traces, inscriptions, etc.).
to make (oneself) inconspicuous; withdraw (oneself) modestly or shyly.
Origin of efface
1480-90; < Middle French effacer. See ef-, face
Related forms
effaceable, adjective
effacement, noun
effacer, noun
uneffaceable, adjective
uneffaced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for efface
Historical Examples
  • He met his failure with a certain dignity of bearing which all his awkwardness could not efface.

    A Young Man's Year Anthony Hope
  • Why should he efface himself, if it meant Sidney's unhappiness?

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • The child had already heard the step and sought to efface herself in the darkest corner.

    The Secret of the League Ernest Bramah
  • But here is a confession which a hundred crosses can not efface.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it.

    The Choctaw Freedmen Robert Elliott Flickinger
  • Will it be possible to efface the evil impress left on that mind and body?

    The Choice of Life Georgette Leblanc
  • Cæsar thus endeavored to efface all recollections of the civil war.

  • The better to efface the impress of their tyrannical past, I had to dip them into water.

    The Choice of Life Georgette Leblanc
  • I've told you enough of the situation here so that you can understand why it is necessary for him to efface me.

    The Real Man Francis Lynde
  • He forgot his resolution to efface himself, and whipped his horse forward.

    A Soldier of the Legion C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for efface


verb (transitive)
to obliterate or make dim: to efface a memory
to make (oneself) inconspicuous or humble through modesty, cowardice, or obsequiousness
to rub out (a line, drawing, etc); erase
Derived Forms
effaceable, adjective
effacement, noun
effacer, 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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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