Deface meaning

dĭ-fās'
To deface is defined as to spoil the appearance, mar or disfigure.

When you draw graffiti over a beautiful piece of art, this is an example of when you deface the art.

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To mar or spoil the appearance or surface of; disfigure.
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To impair the usefulness, value, or influence of.
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To obliterate; destroy.
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To spoil the appearance of; disfigure; mar.
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To make illegible by injuring the surface of.
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Generally means to mar or alter a Website in some undesirable way. Because most Web servers are vulnerable to being exploited, they are often compromised by crackers who replace the information on Web pages with other information to their liking. One particular Website at http://www.attrition.org/mirror/attrition/ lists various sites that have been defaced—an item that they call “the defacement mirror.” However, a note on this attrition Website currently says that what began as a rather tiny collection of Website defacement mirrors soon turned into a massive 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week project. By 2001, says this note, a single day’s mirroring included more than 100 defaced Websites—more than three times the total mirrored for 1995 and 1996. By May 2001, maintaining “the mirror” became a full-time, thankless chore, so the sponsors stopped the activity. Today’s Website features what had been there as of May 21, 2001.
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To damage something, especially a surface, in a visible or conspicuous manner.
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To void or devalue; to nullify or degrade the face value.

He defaced the I.O.U. notes by scrawling "void" over them.

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(heraldry, flags) To alter a coat of arms or a flag by adding an element to it.

You get the Finnish state flag by defacing the national flag with the state coat of arms placed in the middle of the cross.

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Origin of deface

Middle English, "to obliterate," from Old French desfacier (“mutilate, destroy, disfigure”), from des- (“away from”) (see dis-) + Vulgar Latin *facia