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efface - vocabulary

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efface - verb

To wipe out, do away with, obliterate, expunge, as in She effaced her most dreadful memories.

Note: The related terms self-effacement and self-effacing mean to keep oneself in the background, to exhibit humility.

If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we impress on them high principles, the just fear of God, and love for their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.

—Former Secretary of State Daniel Webster Speech to the City Council of Boston, Massachusetts, May 22, 1852 The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (1903)

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