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Graffiti is a word that has been in use in the English language since the mid-1800s, though the phenomenon of graffiti is much older. We will examine the meaning of the word graffiti, its plural and singular forms, where the term came from as well as some examples of its use in sentences.

Graffiti is words or drawings that are scratched, drawn or painted on the surfaces of buildings or other structures in a public place. Graffiti may also be found on natural formations such as boulders or trees. Graffiti is often considered to be street art composed by graffiti artists. Banksy is an example of a graffiti artist who paints murals and stencils as urban art. However, gangs and other illicit groups use graffiti not as an art form but as a method of tagging, which is the personalized signature of a graffiti artist. Gang tagging is a method of laying claim to a geographic area, and gang wars may be initiated by rival gangs obscuring each others’ tags. In many places, graffiti is considered vandalism. Graffiti has been used since early Roman times for reasons including artistic expression, delivering a social message or a political message in an anonymous fashion. The word graffiti is a borrowed or loan word, derived from the Italian word graffiti, which means a scribble. First used in the early 1850s to describe inscriptions found in the ruins at Pompeii, the term became popular in English by the 1870s and came to mean any scrawls or scribbles in public places. The word graffiti is actually the plural form, the correct singular form is graffito. However, the word graffiti is almost always used in English as a singular and as a plural form. Graffiti may also be used as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are graffities, graffitied graffitiing, graffitist.


“Hate has no home in Appleton,” Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas said of the graffiti, which also included an Illuminati symbol. (The Appleton Post-Crescent)

But passers-by have graffitied the sign to say dads cook too and cooking is not gender specific. (The Bristol Post)