Definition of deface in English:


See synonyms for deface

Translate deface into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Spoil the surface or appearance of (something), for example by drawing or writing on it.

    ‘he defaced library books’
    • ‘We are fighting back against the litter louts, the illegal fly-tippers and fly-posters and the vandals who deface the city with graffiti.’
    • ‘It may sound obvious but cheque book customers should not deface Irish pound cheques by crossing out the currency sign and writing in a euro sign instead - or vice versa.’
    • ‘Your eyes glow every single morning, and you're always smiling; you doodle both your names in all the books, even deface public property.’
    • ‘They moved here in 1959 and kept themselves busy by defacing the books in the local library.’
    • ‘A Bedford Bishop says he is ‘fed up’ with vandals defacing his church.’
    • ‘As Gardaí continue the hunt for reckless vandals who defaced statues of Our Lady at a rural grotto in Kerry, shocked locals held a prayer meeting on the site on Monday night and prayed for forgiveness for the culprits.’
    • ‘A local constituency office in Keighley has been targeted by vandals who have defaced the building with graffiti.’
    • ‘In recent weeks the graffiti vandals have defaced the memorial.’
    • ‘Speed camera bosses are undeterred by vandals who defaced signs warning drivers that mobile speed cameras operate in the area.’
    • ‘The vandals have also defaced rocks elsewhere on the moor, including popular routes for walkers and visitors to the area.’
    • ‘Angry residents claim graffiti vandals are continuing to deface Chiswick's streets because the owners of business and public properties have a ‘lazy attitude’ towards removing tags.’
    • ‘It was part of a Skipton Civic Society project to restore the area and Gwynne Walters, from the society, made a plea to the local community not to deface the bridge nor vandalise the area.’
    • ‘Madison homeowners are livid after vandals defaced their homes.’
    • ‘York Minster clergy expressed shock and outrage today after vandals defaced its historic walls with offensive graffiti.’
    • ‘Some of them reportedly defaced posters of her in the lobby, writing comments and tossing drinks on her pictures.’
    • ‘Yet they knew that the Massachusett Indians, for example, considered it impious and inhumane to deface the monuments of the dead.’
    • ‘Just as people shouldn't drop litter, they shouldn't deface the city with graffiti, and ways need to be found of persuading them to stop doing it.’
    • ‘The persons invading the San Jose office barricaded themselves in a conference room where they defaced the walls and damaged furniture.’
    • ‘‘I couldn't condone anyone defacing the city, even in chalk form,’ said Dublin's Lord Mayor, Dermot Lacey.’
    • ‘My usual idea of political activism is defacing the candidate's photos in their election literature.’
    • ‘I just got through telling him that a kid was defacing school property and it was in his area.’
    • ‘The scrawl which defaces many a wall, subway, building, bus shelter and cable box across the district is deeply offensive to many people.’
    • ‘Needless to say, I was shocked when I saw this source of pride defaced with black spray paint.’
    • ‘Government offices were attacked, and trains stopped and defaced.’
    • ‘In one, a Minneapolis housing project is represented as a lawless free-fire zone, with gangsters shooting it out in the streets and anti-Hmong graffiti defacing parked cars.’
    • ‘The room was wrecked and most of the pews had been stolen or defaced.’
    vandalize, disfigure, mar, spoil, ruin, deform, sully, tarnish, damage
    View synonyms



/dəˈfās/ /dəˈfeɪs/


Middle English from Old French desfacier, from des- (expressing removal) + face ‘face’.