[ dih-feet ]
/ dɪˈfit /
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verb (used with object)
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; a beating: Defeat is not something she abides easily.
Archaic. undoing; destruction; ruin.
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Origin of defeat
First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English defeten (verb), from Anglo-French, Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire “to undo, destroy,” from Medieval Latin disfacere, equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + facere “to do”
synonym study for defeat
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.
OTHER WORDS FROM defeatde·feat·er, nounnon·de·feat, nounpre·de·feat, noun, verbre·de·feat, verb, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use defeat in a sentence
The uprising — a 1916 rebellion by republicans against British rule in Ireland — made the front page of the New York Times for eight consecutive days before ending in defeat when leader Pádraic Pearse issued his unconditional surrender.The Banned Irish Revolution Film Starring a Real Soldier|Fiona Zublin|November 16, 2020|Ozy
After defeats of Penn State and Michigan, it’s kind of hard to argue.College football winners and losers for Week 10: Florida is fun again and Georgia is done|Patrick Stevens|November 8, 2020|Washington Post
She couldn’t get her version through, and after multiple defeats had to settle for a greatly scaled back proposal.Politics Report: Winners and Losers Special Edition|Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts|November 7, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Currently, Perdue’s lead is double the margin of defeat that Stacey Abrams faced for governor just two years ago.David Perdue and Jon Ossoff advance to Georgia Senate runoff|Ella Nilsen|November 6, 2020|Vox
Harrison's campaign did not anticipate the scale of that defeat.The Trailer: Partisan realities clash, again, this time on the vote count|David Weigel|November 5, 2020|Washington Post
British Dictionary definitions for defeat
/ (dɪˈfiːt) /
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
Derived forms of defeatdefeater, 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