defeat


1de·feat

transitive verb \di-ˈfēt, dē-\

: 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)

Full Definition of DEFEAT

1
obsolete :  destroy
2
a :  nullify <defeat an estate>
b :  frustrate 2a(1) <defeat a hope>
3
:  to win victory over :  beat <defeat the opposing team>
de·feat·able \-ˈfē-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of DEFEAT

  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 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

2defeat

noun

: failure to succeed or to win

: the act of winning a victory over someone or something

Full Definition of DEFEAT

1
:  frustration by nullification or by prevention of success <the bill suffered defeat in the Senate>
2
obsolete :  destruction
3
a :  an overthrow especially of an army in battle
b :  the loss of a contest

Examples of DEFEAT

  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.

First Known Use of DEFEAT

1590

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: defeatism
Previous Word in the Dictionary: defeasible
All Words Near: defeat

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up defeat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More