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[dih-fahy-uh nt] /dɪˈfaɪ ənt/
characterized by defiance; boldly resistant or challenging:
a defiant attitude.
Origin of defiant
1830-40; < French défiant, Old French, present participle of defier to defy; see -ant
Related forms
defiantly, adverb
defiantness, noun
half-defiant, adjective
half-defiantly, adverb
nondefiant, adjective
nondefiantly, adverb
nondefiantness, noun
overdefiant, adjective
overdefiantly, adverb
overdefiantness, noun
quasi-defiant, adjective
quasi-defiantly, adverb
undefiant, adjective
undefiantly, adverb
insubordinate, contumacious, refractory, recalcitrant, rebellious, insolent; daring.
obedient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for defiantly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I was at Gravesend, sir—at the races," answered Mortimer, defiantly.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • "In Edward's view, Mr. Betts is not her husband," said Marcia, defiantly.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • He spoke proudly, defiantly, looking the cleric full in the face.

    People of Position Stanley Portal Hyatt
  • To this the Pequots defiantly replied with a shower of arrows.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • "I met her first at the drug store last summer," he said defiantly.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for defiantly


marked by resistance or bold opposition, as to authority; challenging
Derived Forms
defiantly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defiantly



1837, from French défiant, present participle of défier (see defy). Related: Defiantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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