V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to remove, blur, or completely eliminate, especially by rubbing off or out; 2. to act in an inconspicuous or humble manner, especially because of shyness or modesty.

Synonyms: erase, annul, delete, expunge, cancel

Antonyms: add, restore

Tips: Notice how the words efface and erase sound very similar. This is a good way to help remember the meaning of efface. For the second definition of "acting inconspicuous and humble," think of "erasing your face" in order to not stand out. Efface is sometimes used in the adjective self-effacing, which refers to someone who downplays his or her achievements out of modesty or lack of confidence. The related word deface means to mark, disfigure, or ruin the appearance of something. (i.e: "We needed to efface (erase, remove) the graffiti that defaced (marked, spoiled) the library.")

Usage Examples:

They used scrub brushes and white spray paint to efface the graffiti on the wall. (erase, remove)

Don't be self-effacing if your boss compliments your hard work; simply thank him and acknowledge his compliment. (erasing, annulling, modest)

Combat veterans may wish to efface the horrific memories they carry from war. (erase, expunge)

It's better to accept a compliment gracefully, rather than make self-effacing remarks. (erasing, annulling) adjective

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