from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To rub or wipe out; erase.
- transitive v. To make indistinct as if by rubbing: "Five years' absence had done nothing to efface the people's memory of his firmness” ( Alan Moorehead). See Synonyms at erase.
- transitive v. To conduct (oneself) inconspicuously: "When the two women went out together, Anna deliberately effaced herself and played to the dramatic Molly” ( Doris Lessing).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To erase (as anything impressed or inscribed upon a surface); to render illegible or indiscernible.
- v. To cause to disappear as if by rubbing out or striking out.
- v. To make oneself inobtrusive as if due to modesty or diffidence.
- v. Of the cervix during pregnancy, to thin and stretch in preparation for labor.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To cause to disappear (as anything impresses or inscribed upon a surface) by rubbing out, striking out, etc.; to erase; to render illegible or indiscernible.
- transitive v. To destroy, as a mental impression; to wear away.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To erase or obliterate, as something inscribed or cut on a surface; destroy or render illegible; hence, to remove or destroy as if by erasing: as, to efface the letters on a monument; to efface a writing; to efface a false impression from a person's mind.
- To keep out of view or unobserved; make inconspicuous; cause to be unnoticed or not noticeable: used reflexively: as, to efface one's self in the midst of gaiety.
- Synonyms Deface, Erase, Cancel, Expunge, Efface, Obliterate. To deface is to injure, impair, or mar to the eye, and so generally upon the surface: as, to deface a building. The other words agree in representing a blotting out or 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 cross out, to deprive of force or validity. To expunge is to strike out; the word is now rarely used, except of the striking out of some record: as, to expunge from the journal a resolution of censure. To efface is to make a complete removal: as, his kindness effaced all memory of past neglect. Obliterate is more emphatic than efface, meaning to remove all sign or trace of.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. remove by or as if by rubbing or erasing
- v. remove completely from recognition or memory
- v. make inconspicuous
Middle English effacen, from French effacer, from Old French esfacier : es-, out (from Latin ex-, ex-) + face, face; see face.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)