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defeatist

[dih-fee-tist]
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noun
  1. a person who surrenders easily or is subject to defeatism.
  2. an advocate or follower of defeatism as a public policy.
adjective
  1. marked by defeatism.

Origin of defeatist

1915–20; defeat + -ist, modeled on French défaitiste
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for defeatist

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "You can't afford to get defeatist about this, Rod," Biddington went on.

  • The pacifists and "defeatist" Socialists represented a minority.

    Bolshevism

    John Spargo

  • Socialist and defeatist writers took advantage of this state of affairs.

    The Russian Turmoil

    Anton Ivanovich Denikin

  • But while the case is still in progress, the "defeatist" meets his fate from the pistol bullet of a fanatic.

    Romain Rolland

    Stefan Zweig

  • But do you honestly think I could entertain such a defeatist notion for one instant?

    Deathworld

    Harry Harrison


Word Origin and History for defeatist

1918, adjective and noun, in reference to pacifists and political opposition in Britain, from French défaitiste, which was used there in reference to the Russians who sought to end their war with Germany; see defeat (n.) + -ist. Their opposition, in the original Russian context, were called defensists.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper