defy

[ verb dih-fahy; noun dih-fahy, dee-fahy ]
/ verb dɪˈfaɪ; noun dɪˈfaɪ, ˈdi faɪ /
||

verb (used with object), de·fied, de·fy·ing.

to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly: to defy parental authority.
to offer effective resistance to: a fort that defies attack.
to challenge (a person) to do something deemed impossible: They defied him to dive off the bridge.
Archaic. to challenge to a combat or contest.

noun, plural de·fies.

a challenge; a defiance.

Nearby words

  1. defunctive,
  2. defund,
  3. defuse,
  4. defusion,
  5. defuze,
  6. deg,
  7. deg.,
  8. degame,
  9. deganawidah,
  10. degas

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 forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defy


British Dictionary definitions for defy

defy

/ (dɪˈfaɪ) /

verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

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

Word Origin for defy

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 defy

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper