verb (used with object), de·faced, de·fac·ing.
- to mar the surface or appearance of; disfigure: to deface a wall by writing on it.
- to efface, obliterate, or injure the surface of, as to make illegible or invalid: to deface a bond.
- (tr) to spoil or mar the surface, legibility, or appearance of; disfigure
mid-14c., “to obliterate,” from Old French desfacier “mutilate, destroy, disfigure,” from des- “away from” (see dis-) + Vulgar Latin *facia (see face (n.)). Weaker sense of “to mar, make ugly” is late 14c. in English. Related: Defaced; defacing.