- to overcome in a contest, election, battle, etc.; prevail over; vanquish: They defeated the enemy. She defeated her brother at tennis.
- to frustrate; thwart.
- to eliminate or deprive of something expected: The early returns defeated his hopes of election.
- Law. to annul.
- the act of overcoming in a contest: an overwhelming defeat of all opposition.
- an instance of defeat; setback: He considered his defeat a personal affront.
- an overthrow or overturning; vanquishment: the defeat of a government.
- a bringing to naught; frustration: the defeat of all his hopes and dreams.
- the act or event of being bested; losing: Defeat is not something she abides easily.
- Archaic. undoing; destruction; ruin.
Origin of defeat
SynonymsSee more synonyms for defeat on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for defeated
The citizens of Stevens Point defeated fluoridation by a healthy margin.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
And yet Dempsey and others have repeatedly said ISIS cannot be defeated militarily.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War
Nancy A. Youssef
January 7, 2015
Many parents have been defeated in their efforts to get help from child welfare departments.Judge: Rehoming Kids Is Trafficking
December 30, 2014
The West is packing up, victorious in battle but defeated in war.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
But when he was defeated in 1815, the Jews were sent back and forced to wear a yellow star again.Napoleon Was a Dynamite Dictator
November 7, 2014
The Assyrians marched against the Egyptians and defeated them in battle.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Thus it happened when the Potawatami helped the Kitkahhahki, and the Cheyennes were defeated.The Trail Book
Although he had met and defeated the enemy, yet his position was still a very critical one.Ridgeway
None but cowards will insult and taunt the defeated and defenceless.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
At all other points it had been not only defeated, but routed.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
- 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
- the act of defeating or state of being defeated
- an instance of defeat
- overthrow or destruction
- law an annulment
Word Origin and History for defeated
1590s, from 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.