Origin of graffitoItalian diminutive of graffio a scratching, scribble probably from graffiare to scratch, scribble probably from Vulgar Latin graphiāre to write with a stylus from Latin graphium stylus from Greek grapheion, graphion from graphein to write ; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.
- (archaeology and related fields) An informal inscription, as by a worker or vandal.
- (rare) A single instance of graffiti in the art/vandalism sense.
Outside of archaeology, graffiti or “a piece of graffiti" is used for the singular. As graffiti is borrowed from a plural form, prescriptivists consider singular use of graffiti incorrect: compare data/datum. The use of "graffiti" in contemporary art is a synonym to "Tags-Throw-ups-Pieces", TTP in short.