characterized by defiance; boldly resistant or challenging: a defiant attitude.

Origin of defiant

1830–40; < French défiant, Old French, present participle of defier to defy; see -ant
Related formsde·fi·ant·ly, adverbde·fi·ant·ness, nounhalf-de·fi·ant, adjectivehalf-de·fi·ant·ly, adverbnon·de·fi·ant, adjectivenon·de·fi·ant·ly, adverbnon·de·fi·ant·ness, nouno·ver·de·fi·ant, adjectiveo·ver·de·fi·ant·ly, adverbo·ver·de·fi·ant·ness, nounqua·si-de·fi·ant, adjectivequa·si-de·fi·ant·ly, adverbun·de·fi·ant, adjectiveun·de·fi·ant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for defiant

Antonyms for defiant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defiant

Contemporary Examples of defiant

Historical Examples of defiant

  • The day closed with the men of Thomas still grim and defiant.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • He quitted the room, and Annabel ran after him, laughing and defiant still.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Lena nodded and went out, shutting the door with a defiant swing.

    The Green Satin Gown

    Laura E. Richards

  • There was a defiant note in her voice, and Massachusetts looked at her with surprise.

    The Green Satin Gown

    Laura E. Richards

  • He looked as defiant, indeed, as if he had heard bullets whizzing past him.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for defiant



marked by resistance or bold opposition, as to authority; challenging
Derived Formsdefiantly, adverb
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 defiant

1837, from French défiant, present participle of défier (see defy). Related: Defiantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper