Word to the Wise: Efface

To “efface” (ih-FAYS) – from the French – is to (1) wipe out or erase, or (2) shyly/modestly make yourself inconspicuous.

Example (as used by Sylvia Plath in The Bell Jar): “Glancing at her – myopic, spinsterish, effaced – I wondered how she knew she had graduated at all, and, unlike her clients, was whole and well.”