Etymology
Advertisement
efface (v.)
Origin and meaning of efface

"to erase or obliterate," especially something written or carved, late 15c., from French effacer, from Old French esfacier (12c.) "to wipe out, destroy," literally "to remove the face," from es- "out" (see ex-) + face "appearance," from Latin facies "face" (see face (n.)). Related: Effaced; effacing; effaceable. Compare deface.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
effacement (n.)
1743, from French effacement; see efface + -ment.
Related entries & more 
self-effacing (adj.)
1902, from self- + effacing (see efface). Self-effacement is recorded from 1866.
Related entries & more 
ineffaceable (adj.)
1804, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + effaceable (see efface). Perhaps modeled on French ineffaçable (16c.).
Related entries & more 
deletion (n.)

1580s, "a word or passage deleted;" c. 1600. "act of blotting out or erasing," from Latin deletionem (nominative deletio), noun of action from past-participle stem of delere "destroy, blot out, efface" (see delete).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
dele (v.)

"take out, remove," typographer's direction to remove a letter, 1727, ultimately from Latin delere "destroy, blot out, efface" (see delete), perhaps via dele, imperative singular, or deleatur "let it be deleted," third person singular present passive subjunctive (which itself was used in English from c. 1600). Usually expressed by a distinctive script form of "d".

Related entries & more 
delete (v.)

"destroy, eradicate," 1530s, from Latin deletus, past participle of delere "destroy, blot out, efface," from delevi, originally perfective tense of delinere "to daub, erase by smudging" (as of the wax on a writing table), from de "from, away" (see de-) + linere "to smear, wipe," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (see slime (n.)). In English, specifically in reference to written matter from c. 1600. Related: Deleted; deleting.

Related entries & more 
obliterate (v.)

"blot out, cause to disappear, remove all traces of, wipe out," c. 1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out (a writing), erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten, blot out a remembrance," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)). The verb was abstracted from the phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.

Related entries & more 
abolish (v.)
Origin and meaning of abolish

"put an end to, do away with," mid-15c., from Old French aboliss-, present participle stem of abolir "to abolish" (15c.), from Latin abolere "destroy, efface, annihilate; cause to die out, retard the growth of," which is perhaps from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + the second element of adolere "to grow, magnify" (and formed as an opposite to that word), from PIE *ol-eye-, causative of root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish," and perhaps formed as an antonym to adolere.

But the Latin word rather could be from a root in common with Greek ollymi, apollymi "destroy." Tucker writes that there has been a confusion of forms in Latin, based on similar roots, one meaning "to grow," the other "to destroy." Now generally used of institutions, customs, etc.; application to persons and concrete objects has long been obsolete. Related: Abolished; abolishing.

Abolish is a strong word, and signifies a complete removal, generally but not always by a summary act. It is the word specially used in connection with things that have been long established or deeply rooted, as an institution or a custom : as to abolish slavery or polygamy. [Century Dictionary, 1900]
Related entries & more 
oblivion (n.)

late 14c., oblivioun, "state or fact of forgetting, forgetfulness, loss of memory," from Old French oblivion (13c.) and directly from Latin oblivionem (nominative oblivio) "forgetfulness; a being forgotten," from oblivisci (past participle oblitus) "forget," which is of uncertain origin.

Perhaps originally "even out, smooth over, efface," from ob "over" (see ob-) + root of lēvis "smooth," but de Vaan and others find that "a semantic shift from 'to be smooth' to 'to forget' is not very convincing." However no better explanation has emerged. Latin lēvis also meant "rubbed smooth, ground down," from PIE *lehiu-, from root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (see slime (n.)); for sense evolution, compare obliterate.

Meaning "state or condition of being forgotten or lost to memory" is from early 15c. In English history, the Acts of Oblivion use the word in the sense of "intentional overlooking" (1610s), especially of political offenses. Related: Obliviously; obliviousness.

Oblivion is the state into which a thing passes when it is thoroughly and finally forgotten. ... Forgetfulness is a quality of a person: as a man remarkable for his forgetfulness. ... Obliviousness stands for a sort of negative act, a complete failure to remember: as a person's obliviousness of the proprieties of an occasion. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more