Definition of efface in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪˈfeɪs/


[with object]
1Erase (a mark) from a surface: with time, the words are effaced by the rain
More example sentences
  • Is the carnage associated with them a result of lurid scriptural interpretations of religion which have effaced the life of the spirit?
  • To subordinate the essentially cinematic as he does is itself a technique of ineffable skill; and to efface his signature as a director from the style of a film argues a modest purity of aim that is refreshing.
  • Only by grossly simplifying and distorting the data, particularly in the domain of literary and textual production, can such differences be effaced or ignored between the cultures in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
1.1Cause (a memory or emotion) to disappear completely: nothing could efface the bitter memory
More example sentences
  • The unification of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic was driven by the impulse to efface the memory of East Germany and the political, cultural and economic experience of East Germans.
2 (efface oneself) Make oneself appear insignificant or inconspicuous: to efface oneself is not the easiest of duties which the teacher can undertake
More example sentences
  • As author, she effaces herself absolutely in order to reflect and depict the story of Narcissus.
  • She had effaced herself when he first knew her; she had made herself small, pretending there was less of her than there really was.
  • The Talmud states that people's prayers are not accepted unless they efface themselves before God.
make oneself inconspicuous, keep out of sight, keep oneself to oneself, keep quiet, keep out of the public eye, avoid publicity, keep out of the limelight, lie low, keep a low profile, regard/treat oneself as unimportant, be modest/diffident/retiring, withdraw



Pronunciation: /ɪˈfeɪsm(ə)nt/
Example sentences
  • They also inadvertently revealed the scope of art history's effacement of this context of practice.
  • Strikingly addressed are the hypocrisies and effacement within the tourist trade.
  • It was an entirely sympathetic presentation, in which there was an effacement of the self, and a presentation of a fascinating body of work, where you're supposed to go with the writer into the houses of flagellation or the houses of prayer.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'pardon or be absolved from (an offence)'): from French effacer, from e- (from Latin ex- 'away from') + face 'face'.

Words that rhyme with efface

abase, ace, apace, backspace, base, bass, brace, case, chase, dace, embrace, encase, enchase, enlace, face, grace, interlace, interspace, in-your-face, lace, mace, misplace, outface, outpace, pace, place, plaice, race, space, Thrace, trace, upper case

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ef¦face

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