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defy

[verb dih-fahy; noun dih-fahy, dee-fahy]
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verb (used with object), de·fied, de·fy·ing.
  1. to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly: to defy parental authority.
  2. to offer effective resistance to: a fort that defies attack.
  3. to challenge (a person) to do something deemed impossible: They defied him to dive off the bridge.
  4. Archaic. to challenge to a combat or contest.
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noun, plural de·fies.
  1. a challenge; a defiance.
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Origin of defy

1250–1300; Middle English defien < Old French desfier, equivalent to des- dis-1 + fier to trust < Vulgar Latin *fīdāre, variant of Latin fīdere
Related formsde·fi·a·ble, adjectivede·fy·ing·ly, adverbpre·de·fy, verb (used with object), pre·de·fied, pre·de·fy·ing.re·de·fy, verb (used with object), re·de·fied, re·de·fy·ing.un·de·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·fi·a·bly, adverbun·de·fied, adjective

Synonyms

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1. dare, brave, flout, scorn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for defied

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He had been defied, trapped, made a victim of the gang who had killed his most valued informer.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • How it came, how it was passed from hearth to hearth, defied our penetration.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • To apply for protection, where authority is defied, is bold.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • She defied all efforts of the master to make her become friends with White Fang.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Public opinion was defied, and the old methods were continued.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee


British Dictionary definitions for defied

defy

verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to resist (a powerful person, authority, etc) openly and boldly
  2. to elude, esp in a baffling wayhis actions defy explanation
  3. formal to challenge or provoke (someone to do something judged to be impossible); dareI defy you to climb that cliff
  4. archaic to invite to do battle or combat
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Derived Formsdefier, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French desfier, from des- de- + fier to trust, from Latin fīdere
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 defied

defy

v.

c.1300, "to renounce one's allegiance;" mid-14c., "to challenge, defy," from Old French defier, desfier "to challenge, defy, provoke; renounce (a belief), repudiate (a vow, etc.)," from Vulgar Latin *disfidare "renounce one's faith," from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidus "faithful" (see faith).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper