- to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly: to defy parental authority.
- to offer effective resistance to: a fort that defies attack.
- to challenge (a person) to do something deemed impossible: They defied him to dive off the bridge.
- Archaic. to challenge to a combat or contest.
- a challenge; a defiance.
Origin of defy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for defied
He defied the atheism of communism and the empty religious practices of Putinism.Remembering the Russian Priest Who Fought the Orthodox Church
December 28, 2014
The answers include poor planning, budgetary procedures that defied economic logic, and at least one bone-headed accounting error.America’s 60 Year-Old Nuclear Bomber Might Finally Get a New Engine
October 27, 2014
For months, first term Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan has managed to cling to slim lead that has defied national factors.In Tarheel State, Democratic Senate Incumbent Bucks National GOP Trend
October 20, 2014
He defied death and gravity to selflessly protect New Yorkers until his final moments in the Twin Towers.The Flying New York Fireman Who Shined on 9/11
September 11, 2014
Stereotypes exist to delineate but also in order to be defied.In Praise of ‘Awkward’: OMFG MTV, Like, Really Gets High School
June 20, 2014
He had been defied, trapped, made a victim of the gang who had killed his most valued informer.Within the Law
How it came, how it was passed from hearth to hearth, defied our penetration.In the Valley
To apply for protection, where authority is defied, is bold.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
She defied all efforts of the master to make her become friends with White Fang.White Fang
Public opinion was defied, and the old methods were continued.The Railroad Question
- to resist (a powerful person, authority, etc) openly and boldly
- to elude, esp in a baffling wayhis actions defy explanation
- formal to challenge or provoke (someone to do something judged to be impossible); dareI defy you to climb that cliff
- archaic to invite to do battle or combat
Word Origin and History for defied
c.1300, "to renounce one's allegiance;" mid-14c., "to challenge, defy," from Old French defier, desfier "to challenge, defy, provoke; renounce (a belief), repudiate (a vow, etc.)," from Vulgar Latin *disfidare "renounce one's faith," from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidus "faithful" (see faith).