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1

defeat

play
verb de·feat \di-ˈfēt, dē-\

Simple Definition of defeat

  • : to win a victory over (someone or something) in a war, contest, game, etc.

  • : to cause (someone or something) to fail

  • : to control or overcome (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of defeat

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 obsolete :  destroy

  3. 2 a :  nullify <defeat an estate> b :  frustrate 2a(1) <defeat a hope>

  4. 3 :  to win victory over :  beat <defeat the opposing team>

defeatable

play \-ˈfē-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of defeat in a sentence

  1. We must be ready to defeat our enemies in battle.

  2. Our candidate defeated him in the last election.

  3. She finally found a solution to a problem that had defeated many other researchers.

  4. The bill was defeated in the state senate.

  5. Scientists from around the world are working to defeat the disease.



Origin and Etymology of defeat

Middle English deffeten, from Anglo-French defait, past participle of defaire, desfaire to destroy, from Medieval Latin disfacere, from Latin dis- + facere to do — more at do


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of defeat

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of <Caesar conquered Gaul>. vanquish implies a complete overpowering <vanquished the enemy and ended the war>. defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals <the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas>. subdue implies a defeating and suppression <subdued the native tribes after years of fighting>. reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender <the city was reduced after a month-long siege>. overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle <overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks>. overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power <violently overthrew the old regime>.

2

defeat

noun de·feat

Simple Definition of defeat

  • : failure to succeed or to win

  • : the act of winning a victory over someone or something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of defeat

  1. 1 :  frustration by nullification or by prevention of success <the bill suffered defeat in the Senate>

  2. 2 obsolete :  destruction

  3. 3 a :  an overthrow especially of an army in battle b :  the loss of a contest

Examples of defeat in a sentence

  1. We weren't prepared for defeat.

  2. One small error could make the difference between success and defeat.

  3. After several tries we were forced to accept defeat.

  4. They celebrated their defeat of the enemy.



1590

First Known Use of defeat

1590



DEFEAT Defined for Kids

1

defeat

play
verb de·feat \di-ˈfēt\

Definition of defeat for Students

defeated

defeating

  1. 1 :  to win victory over <The champs defeated their rivals handily.>

  2. 2 :  to cause to fail or be destroyed <The bill was defeated in Congress.>




2

defeat

play
noun de·feat

Definition of defeat for Students

  1. :  loss of a contest or battle




Law Dictionary

defeat

transitive verb de·feat

Legal Definition of defeat

  1. 1a :  to render null <third parties will defeat an attached but “unperfected” security interest — J. J. White and R. S. Summers> b :  to prevent or undo the effectiveness or establishment of <defeat jurisdiction> <defendant took stand and defeated intoxication defense — National Law Journal>

  2. 2a :  to prevail over b :  to thwart the claim of <defeat creditors> <an intent to defeat the surviving spouse of his…elective share — Tennessee Code Annotated>

defeat

noun


Origin and Etymology of defeat

Anglo-French defait, past participle of defaire to undo, defeat, from Old French deffaire desfaire, from de-, prefix marking reversal of action + faire to do



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