Origin of defeat
synonym study for defeat
OTHER WORDS FROM defeat
Words nearby defeat
MORE ABOUT DEFEAT
What does defeat mean?
To defeat someone is to beat them in a competition or contest.
As a noun, a defeat is a loss (as in That was the team’s first defeat of the season) and defeat is the state of having lost (as in the agony of defeat).
In most cases, the verb beat is a close synonym for defeat, but defeat is more formal (you can beat or defeat someone in a game, but a nation defeats another in war).
As a verb, defeat can also mean to thwart or prevent something from happening, but this is less commonly used.
Example: The Allies defeated the Axis powers in World War II.
Where does defeat come from?
The first records of defeat in English come from the 1300s. It comes from the Old French verb desfaire, meaning “to undo” or “to destroy.” It ultimately derives from the Medieval Latin disfacere, from dis–, which indicates a negation or reversal, and facere, “to do.”
Those who have been defeated in competition have been undone by their opponents—they’ve been bested or beaten (or even destroyed, if the defeat was a decisive one). Defeat can be used in situations large and small, serious and unimportant: a game of rock-paper-scissors, a championship series, or a war.
A team or athlete who has never lost is often described as undefeated. But that’s rare. Most people who engage in competition, especially in sports, have experienced defeat, and they know it can hurt (that’s the agony in the common expression the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat). Those who have been defeated might even feel defeated, which is an adjective referring to the hopeless feeling you can get when you don’t achieve what you wanted to. If a person continues to feel this way all the time, they may develop a defeatist attitude—meaning they never expect to win.
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What are some other forms related to defeat?
- defeater (noun)
- defeated (adjective, past tense verb)
What are some synonyms for defeat?
What are some words that share a root or word element with defeat?
What are some words that often get used in discussing defeat?
How is defeat used in real life?
Defeat is commonly used in sports and in other situations involving direct competition with a measurable outcome. In all of its senses, defeat is negative (except of course for the person doing the defeating).
On this day in 1997: IBM’s Deep Blue becomes first computer to defeat a chess champion in match play.pic.twitter.com/H660xSJHhe
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) May 11, 2020
In a surprising defeat, Germany, defending men’s World Cup champs, eliminated from this year’s tournament in Russia allowing Mexico to advance.
— Polo Sandoval (@PoloSandovalCNN) June 27, 2018
Right. I'm usually really good at cooking / baking, but banana bread has defeated me every single time so far. 🍌🍞
I'm trying a new recipe… Maybe this is the day it turns out well? 🤞😌
— Imola Unger 💐🍃🌊🦦 (@ImolaUnger) May 10, 2020
Try using defeat!
Is defeat used correctly in the following sentence?
He was gracious even in defeat.
How to use defeat in a sentence
His defeat six months later was virtually assured in that moment.The case for Jimmy Carter as a ‘consequential’ president|Russell L. Riley|December 4, 2020|Washington Post
It’s a trade opponents are willing to make, because treating Hill like any other receiver, even any other very good receiver, is inviting defeat.What to know from NFL Week 12: Tyreek Hill and Derrick Henry took over as the coronavirus loomed|Adam Kilgore|November 30, 2020|Washington Post
They’ll win the Pac-12 North with defeats of California and Washington the next two weeks, and probably go to the Fiesta Bowl if they win the league.College football winners and losers: Pac-12 playoff hopes disappear with Oregon’s loss|Patrick Stevens|November 29, 2020|Washington Post
Philadelphia responded to that defeat by firing Coach Brett Brown and replacing him with Doc Rivers, who was let go by the Los Angeles Clippers.Daryl Morey in advanced talks to lead 76ers’ front office|Ben Golliver|October 28, 2020|Washington Post
Many classified the incident as a catastrophic defeat for the government, but the analysis from the Mexico Violence Resource Project suggests a more nuanced interpretation of the impact of those events.
He rebuffed calls to institute the death penalty, and his last term as governor ended in his defeat.Mario Cuomo, a Frustrating Hero to Democrats, Is Dead at 82|Eleanor Clift|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
After the defeat of ISIS in Sinjar, most other locals have been left wondering who might rule the city in the near future.Has the Kurdish Victory at Sinjar Turned the Tide of ISIS War?|Niqash|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
That defeat was driven largely by Romney losing women voters by an insurmountable 11 points.
In recent days, there has been a subtle feeling of defeat permeating through the camp.
But it certainly contributed, and purposely so, to the defeat of the tough Likud hardliner Yitzhak Shamir in 1992.The Inside Story of U.S. Meddling in Israel’s Elections|Aaron David Miller|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He saw Gen. Braddock as he passed on to his defeat, and could give a succinct account of that sanguinary action.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
The friars were exceedingly wroth, and combined to defeat the Generalʼs efforts to come to an understanding with the rebels.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
He will tell you about the success he had in America; it quite makes up for the defeat of the British army in the Revolution.Confidence|Henry James
But after the defeat at Leipzig King Joachim asked and obtained leave to return to his own dominions.Napoleon's Marshals|R. P. Dunn-Pattison
But she had experienced an hour of mixed emotions in which a confused and wondering sense of defeat was paramount.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton