effacement

Effacement is what happens when something is erased or blotted out. If you hit your head hard enough, it might cause the effacement of your memory.

You can use this noun for things that are physically erased, like the rain's effacement of the chalk portrait you drew on the sidewalk. It can also be used for figurative erasing, like the effacement of a dancer's dreams when he doesn't win a spot in the ballet corps. Effacement comes from the verb efface, "to erase or obliterate," from the Old French esfacier, literally "to remove the face."

Definitions of effacement
  1. noun
    withdrawing into the background; making yourself inconspicuous
    synonyms: self-effacement
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    type of:
    withdrawal
    the act of withdrawing
  2. noun
    shortening of the uterine cervix and thinning of its walls as it is dilated during labor
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    type of:
    biological process, organic process
    a process occurring in living organisms
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