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Definition of the verb efface

What does efface mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: effaced | effacing | effaces

  1. remove completely from recognition or memory
    • example: efface the memory of the time in the camps
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonym of efface: obliterate
    • more generic words: blur / dim / slur = become vague or indistinct
  2. make inconspicuous
    • example: efface oneself
    • lexical domain: Emotions - verbs of feeling
    • more generic word: humble = cause to be unpretentious
  3. remove by or as if by rubbing or erasing

Alternative definition of the verb efface


  1. [transitive] To erase (as anything impressed or inscribed upon a surface); to render illegible or indiscernible.
  2. [transitive] To cause to disappear as if by rubbing out or striking out.
  3. [reflexive] To make oneself inobtrusive as if due to modesty or diffidence.
  4. [medicine] Of the cervix during pregnancy, to thin and stretch in preparation for labor.

Definition of the verb efface for high school students

    to wipe out, obliterate, rub away
    • example: The husband was so angry at his wife for leaving him that he effaced all evidence of her presence; he threw out pictures of her and gave away all her belongings.

The verb efface is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for efface

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Google previewChrist-Centered Self-Esteem (2001)

Seeing Ourselves Through God's Eyes by Charles R. Gerber

To efface means to wipe out, destroy, do away with. Depreciation means to reduce the value of. People tend to negate compliments and dwell on criticism.

Google previewOxford English Mini Dictionary (2013)

by Charlotte Buxton

efface v. 1 rub off or cause to disV appear. 2 (efface yourself) make yourself appear inconspicuous. effect n. 1 a change produced by an action or other cause ; a result. 2 the state of being operative or effective. 3 (effects) personal belongings.

Google previewThe Century dictionary and cyclopedia (1906)

a work of universal reference in all departments of knowledge with a new atlas of the world by William Dwight Whitney, Benjamin Eli Smith

buc- efface + -able.} Capable of being effaced. 1847 removal. To erase is to rub out or scratch out, so that the thing is destroyed, although the signs of it may remain : as, to erase a word in a letter. To cancel is to ...

Google previewPocket Dictionary of the Bohemian and English Languages (1896)

by Václav Emanuel Mourek

Efi'nble',x vyelnvitelnŕV Efface“,1 vyèkrtnouii; zniêiti.

Google previewA copious dictionary of English synonymes (1864)

— cancel, obliterate, erase, efface, expunge, efface. Rash (a.) ...

Google previewPronouncing Dictionary, of the Most Commonly Used Words in the English Language (1828)

See Efface. ODIous, o'-de-us, ...

Google previewThe Encyclopaedia Britannica, Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature (1823)

efface. any. other. painting. or. stain. that. might: Lastly, black indicates a harsh, nauseous, disagreeable taste; as in the berries of deadly night-shade, myrtleleaved sumach, herb-christopher, and others; many of which are not only unpleasant ...

Google previewA New Universal English Dictionary: or, a Compleat treasure of the English language, etc. [With plates.] (1759)

by William RIDER (A.B., of Jesus College, Oxford.)

To efface or dash out any word with ink; used with out. Figuratively, to render a thing imperceptible, or invisible; to efface; to stain, fully, or disgrace. “ Is blots thy beauty.” SHAk. To make black, to darken ; “ earth blots the moon's gilded wane.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for efface

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Usage statistics about efface

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb efface:


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On efface tout et on recommence

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Video language resources about efface

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Quotes about efface

It is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane. (George Orwell)
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Scrabble value of E1F4F4A1C3E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 14 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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