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 defiantly

Contemporary Examples of defiantly

Historical Examples of defiantly

  • "I was at Gravesend, sir—at the races," answered Mortimer, defiantly.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "In Edward's view, Mr. Betts is not her husband," said Marcia, defiantly.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • He spoke proudly, defiantly, looking the cleric full in the face.

    People of Position

    Stanley Portal Hyatt

  • To this the Pequots defiantly replied with a shower of arrows.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • "I met her first at the drug store last summer," he said defiantly.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for defiantly


  1. 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 defiantly



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper