defeat

[dih-feet]

verb (used with object)

noun


Origin of defeat

1325–75; Middle English defeten (v.) < Anglo-French, Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire to undo, destroy < Medieval Latin disfacere, equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + facere to do
Related formsde·feat·er, nounnon·de·feat, nounpre·de·feat, noun, verbqua·si-de·feat·ed, adjectivere·de·feat, verb, nounun·de·feat·ed, adjectiveun·de·feat·ed·ly, adverbun·de·feat·ed·ness, noun

Synonyms for defeat

Synonym study

1. Defeat, conquer, overcome, subdue imply gaining a victory or control over an opponent. Defeat suggests beating or frustrating: to defeat an enemy in battle. Conquer implies finally gaining control over, usually after a series of efforts or against systematic resistance: to conquer a country, one's inclinations. Overcome emphasizes surmounting difficulties in prevailing over an antagonist: to overcome opposition, bad habits. Subdue means to conquer so completely that resistance is broken: to subdue a rebellious spirit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for defeat

Contemporary Examples of defeat

Historical Examples of defeat

  • Then there came upon him to reinforce this want a burning sense of defeat.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • In my lifetime—in depression and in war—they have awaited our defeat.

  • You know what you have to expect from the Syracusans, if this last struggle should end in defeat.

  • Yes, they were wolves leaping at the throat of her father, and joying in the defeat of Lucretia.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Lucretia's defeat in the Handicap had increased his despondency.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser


British Dictionary definitions for defeat

defeat

verb (tr)

to overcome in a contest or competition; win a victory over
to thwart or frustratethis accident has defeated all his hopes of winning
law to render null and void; annul

noun

the act of defeating or state of being defeated
an instance of defeat
overthrow or destruction
law an annulment
Derived Formsdefeater, noun

Word Origin for defeat

C14: from Old French desfait, from desfaire to undo, ruin, from des- dis- 1 + faire to do, from Latin facere
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

Word Origin and History for defeat
v.

late 14c., from Anglo-French defeter, from Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire "to undo," from Vulgar Latin *diffacere "undo, destroy," from Latin dis- "un-, not" (see dis-) + facere "to do, perform" (see factitious). Original sense was of "bring ruination, cause destruction." Military sense of "conquer" is c.1600. Related: Defeated; defeating.

n.

1590s, from defeat (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper