n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
Drawings or inscriptions made on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and so as to be seen by the public.
[Italian, pl. of graffito; see GRAFFITO.]
Usage Note: The word graffiti is a plural noun in Italian. In English graffiti is far more common than the singular form graffito and is mainly used as a singular noun in much the same way data is. When the reference is to a particular inscription (as in There was a bold graffiti on the wall), the form graffito would be etymologically correct but might strike some readers as pedantic outside an archaeological context. There is no substitute for the singular use of graffiti when the word is used as a mass noun to refer to inscriptions in general or to the related social phenomenon: Graffiti is a major problem for the Transit Authority Police.
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